CATSKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Utility customers will have the opportunity to share their opinions on whether or not the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation should be granted a significant rate spike. The New York Public Service Commission will hold four in-person public hearings in Catskill, Kingston, Newburgh, and Poughkeepsie.
According to local advocacy non-profit Communities for Local Power, Central Hudson’s revenues would increase by approximately $180 million if the rate spike is approved. Residential customers would see an increase of around $30 a month for electricity and another $30 a month for gas customers.
“There may be no limit to the amounts utilities like Central Hudson Fortis can charge their customers, but there is clearly a limit to what this monopoly “market” can bear”, says Susan Gillespie, a Central Hudson customer and Vice President of Communities for Local Power. “This rate increase will have a substantial material impact on low-and-moderate income homes within our community, especially populations who are the most vulnerable.”
Central Hudson asked for an increase of $7.76 for electricity in 2020. The PSC responded by approving a three-year plan where customers paid 33 cents less per month during the first year. Customers then had to pay monthly increases of $1.72 and $1.82 for the final two years.
The four hearings will be held at:
- Robert Antonelli Senior Center in Catskill at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 17
- SUNY Orange-Newburgh Campus Kaplan Hall in Newburgh at 6 p.m. on Oct. 17
- Poughkeepsie Town Hall at 1 p.m. on Oct. 18
- Restorative Justice and Community Empowerment Center in Kingston at 6 p.m. on Oct. 18
Communities for Local Power has created a basic instruction guide online that may be found at www.bit.ly/cenhudrateincrease. Those who need transportation to a hearing or other assistance may call them at (845) 514-5495.