NEW YORK - National Grid may be the next utility company to increase the price of natural gas if its latest proposed rate hikes are approved.
According to the utility’s estimates, the typical bill for residents in New York City would be 17.2 percent higher or an extra $30.95 a month.
Long Island customers would be paying 16.3 percent more, or an additional $28.52 a month.
If approved the increases would impact nearly 2 million customers.
"Everybody’s hiking everything," said one customer.
National Grid says safety mandates, increased property taxes, and the cost of delivering safe, reliable, and cleaner energy are behind the increase.
"We’ve tried hard to manage our costs but we’re seeing external pressure on our rates issues that are impacting every company," said Phil DeCicco who is the Deputy General Counsel of with National Grid New York.
The State Public Service Commission plans to review the proposal and will hold hearings prior to a vote. Many times, according to the Commission, the approved rates are always lower than what is requested, due entirely to the review process.
"At the end of the day we think this is the right option for our customers," DeCicco said.
While the plan is for National Grid to phase in any increase, economist Dr. Martin Cantor says it will exacerbate household issues.
"Energy costs never go down plus the fact that customers now go to solar power and other types of power reduces their customer base and they have to spread their fixed asset cost over a smaller base which is generating an increase as well," Cantor said.
If approved, the charges would take effect in April of next year.