Rolison Calls on State Regulator to Reject Local Energy Price Hikes

Rolison Calls on State Regulator to Reject Local Energy Price Hikes

Central Hudson utility wants Public Service Commission to OK electricity, gas increases

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE — State Senator Rob Rolison (39th District) this week offered remarks at two public comment fora in the City of Newburgh and Town of Poughkeepsie held by the Public Service Commission (PSC), the state regulator in charge of setting final utility rates for consumers. The purpose of the in-person events was to solicit local input on the monthly rate increases proposed by Central Hudson. Central Hudson has asked the PSC for hikes of 16 percent on the average residential electric bill and 19 percent increase in the average natural gas bill by next year. Rolison opposes both. On Tuesday and Wednesday he delivered testimony before the PSC’s administrative law judges and submitted his comments into the official record.

“Our region faces an affordability crisis. Costs associated with housing, childcare, groceries, and energy have all increased,” said Rolison. “According to a recent Siena Research Institute poll, more than 80% of New York’s voters consider the rising cost of living to be a major problem. My constituents shouldn’t have to choose between a doctor’s visit and feeding a family of four, between lighting and heating their home and filling up the gas tank to get to work. Yet that is precisely what a rate increase of this magnitude would mean for the average Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, and Hudson Valley resident.”

Central Hudson’s combined gas and electric service area includes part of Rolison’s district. He opposes the state’s unprecedented ban on natural gas in new residential buildings, arguing it penalizes ordinary New Yorkers while doing little to resolve the structural pressures on New York’s energy grid. His co-sponsored “Save the Hudson” legislation, which would prohibit radioactive material in the Hudson River, was signed into law by Governor Hochul in August.

“The PSC must tell Central Hudson that a rate hike of this size would be too much, too fast. It’s unacceptable. We can achieve a cleaner New York without bankrupting middle- and working-class Hudson Valley residents and driving more people out of our state,” said Rolison.

A copy of Rolison’s testimony can be found here.


Author: Harlem Valley News