NY Bill Would Require Statewide Energy Price Study

New York Senator Alan Hevesi introduced a bill last week that would require the state’s Public Service Commission and independent system operator to conduct an investigation into the cause of the gas and electric price increases scheduled to be in effect from November 2015 through April 2016. Under assembly bill A03626, the PSC would then need to develop recommendations to mitigate future price increases by November 2016.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also called for a review of the state’s energy market design and governance structure last week. The Governor’s aim was to help integrate clean energy resources while also reducing consumer energy prices. Last April, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer called for an investigation into spiking electricity prices in New York. Prices vary throughout the state, which makes it difficult to calculate price increases, but Schumer cited a 63 percent increase in customer’s bill from March 2013 to March 2014.

As of October 2014, New York ranked 4th in both commercial and residential electricity prices. Commercial prices averaged 15.83 cents per kWh while residential rates averaged 19.42 cents. Industrial energy consumers pay just 6.05 cents per kWh, which ranks twenty-ninth.

Natural gas prices are currently much lower. As of November, New York saw city gate natural gas prices of just 4.17, which is 15 percent below the national average of 4.92.

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