Ulster County Legislature opposes Central Hudson rate increases
Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that the Ulster County Legislature is unanimously oppose double-digit electricity and gas delivery charge increases proposed by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., the lawmakers said on Oct. 11. Central Hudson’s proposal is to raise rates by 16 percent for electricity delivery and 19 percent for gas. Majority Leader Leader Jonathan Heppner, a Democrat from Woodstock, said, “In the last two years we have heard from countless constituents about erratic billing and unexplained overcharges related to their Central Hudson accounts, with the uniform complaint that the company has been apathetic to the consequences of their actions and been slow to fix these longstanding issues.... It is not right for Central Hudson to be asking for a rate increase until their billing issues are rectified." Joseph Jenkins, a Central Hudson spokesperson, said, “Central Hudson’s rate proposal is the start of a nearly year-long process where we will work with our regulators and other key stakeholders to arrive at a plan that allows for the company to make much needed investments to continue the delivery of safe and reliable electricity and natural gas to our communities.... Our goal is to balance affordability with meeting the evolving needs of customers and the clean energy objectives of New York State.” The Public Service Commission is holding public hearings about the proposed rate increases, including one at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 17, at the Robert Antonelli Senior Center 15 Academy St. in Catskill. Central Hudson claims the new rates would add roughly $1 a day to the typical electric customer and $1 a day to most natural gas customers. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.