June 2, 2022
Candidate for Congress
New York’s 19th District
P.O. Box 6806
213 Tioga Street
Ithaca, NY 14851
Hon. Michelle L. Phillips
Secretary to the Commission
New York State Public Service Commission
Empire State Plaza
Agency Building 3
I am writing to express my strong opposition to NYSEG’s proposal to increase
prices on Upstate New Yorkers who are already struggling to get by. As a
candidate for Congress in New York’s 19th Congressional District, I am urging
you to reject any proposed rate increase. Folks across this district simply
cannot afford it.
I have reviewed NYSEG’s recent submission to you, in which NYSEG asks you to approve a 22.2% average increase in prices for electricity service and a 15.2% average increase in prices for gas service. This would amount to an increase of more than $32 per month in the average household’s utility bill. Many households would experience even higher rate increases.
Small businesses, working families, and seniors across Upstate New York have
told me time-and-again that rising costs are making it difficult to make ends
meet. Notably, in its submission to you, NYSEG itself acknowledged the
existence of “macro-economic pressures including higher rates of inflation,
higher interest rates, and restrictions in supply that have substantially
increased costs.” Those pressures–which are crushing Upstate New Yorkers–
are precisely what makes NYSEG’s proposal so ill-advised.
Many of the costs NYSEG has identified in its submission appear to qualify for
funding under the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment &
Jobs Act. For example, that new law provides support for energy storage
projects, network infrastructure upgrades, and transportation electrification.
In evaluating NYSEG’s proposal, I encourage you to scrutinize why customers
should shoulder the costs for these activities if federal funds are already
available to pay for them.
Upstate New Yorkers are being squeezed by high costs. Now is not the time for
NYSEG to make the situation worse by raising their costs even more.