RG&E Files Plan to Lower Electricity Delivery Rates in 2016
Proposal also includes first natural gas delivery rate increase since 2012
Rochester, NY – RG&E, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, today filed a plan with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to lower its electricity delivery rates and increase its natural gas delivery rates. RG&E’s rates, which are among the lowest in the state, haven’t changed since September 2012. If approved, the approximately $10 million reduction in electricity service charges and a $20 million increase for natural gas operations would become effective in May 2016. RG&E plans to invest the additional revenue to enhance its network capacity, improve grid reliability and strengthen the physical and cyber security of its electric and natural gas networks.
“Our delivery rates are among the lowest of New York’s major utilities, and this plan will let us keep it that way,” said Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “We’ve been effective at managing our costs, and the savings have gradually accumulated since the last review of our rates in 2010. We have proposed to return the benefit of those savings to customers through lower electricity delivery rates.”
The RG&E delivery rate cut will offset some of the potential payments to Exelon to keep the Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in operation until alternatives can be put in place to maintain reliable service to the Rochester region. The PSC ordered RG&E to negotiate and submit a proposal for a Reliability Support Services Agreement (RSSA) in response to Exelon’s announced plans to retire the plant. RG&E expects the PSC to rule later this year on the RSSA and the company’s proposed transmission investments that would allow for the plant’s retirement.
The RG&E Plan provides funding for significant system investments such as the Ginna Retirement Transmission Alternative (GRTA) that will allow RG&E to meet its reliability requirements without continued payments to the Ginna nuclear plant. RG&E will also continue work on the Rochester Area Reliability Project (RARP) and an accelerated program of pipe replacement for natural gas safety.
If the PSC approves these proposals, RG&E estimates for an average residential electricity customer who uses 600 kilowatt-hours per month, and is taking supply from the utility, the bill will drop about $1.30 per month, or 1.4 percent. An average natural gas customer who uses approximately 950 therms of natural gas in a year will see bills rise about $5 per month, a 6 percent increase or about $59 for the year.
“Our two major projects in the Rochester system, the GRTA and the RARP, represent roughly $425 million in new investment to strengthen and modernize our electric transmission infrastructure,” said Lynch. “We are also excited to accelerate our schedule to replace aging natural gas mains, and make additional investments to improve our natural gas gate stations and distribution facilities which will enable us to bring the benefits of natural gas service to more customers.”
The state’s utility regulations impose an 11-month period for the PSC’s review, and allow opportunities for public comment and participation by interested parties.
For more information
Click here to learn more about RG&E’s plan,
or visit the PSC’s website to search all documents filed in the case.
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