Are NY Utility Distribution Charges All the Same?


Each of New York’s investor-owned utilities (IOU) face unique conditions for distributing and transmitting power to customers in their area.

For example, while National Grid must build and maintain its power lines through the Adirondack Mountains , ConEd must contend with fewer choices for rights of way, higher demand, and higher costs.

To help you understand how this works, you can compare each IOU’s sample bills with their transmission and distribution charges at their websites:

  1. Central Hudson Gas & Electric
  2. ConEd
  3. Orange and Rockland
  4. National Grid
  5. NYSEG
  6. Rochester Gas & Electric

Meanwhile, IOUs aren’t allowed to jack up their transmission prices whenever they need more money. Each must petition the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC)  to make changes for their tariff rates.

When a utility files for a rate change with the PSC, the PSC appoints a team of lawyers, accountants, engineers, economists, financial analysts and consumer service specialists to examine the proposal’s impacts on rate payers.  The PSC team usually develops a counter rate proposal. An Administrative Law Judge is assigned to preside over the case, hear all the evidence and provide recommendations to the PSC. Other parties are also invited to testify and comment on the proposed changes. The whole process can take up to 11 months.

New rates are typically set to last for an average of three years.

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