The state’s Public Service Commission on Feb. 20 adopted plans that will keep Con Edison electric rates for residents and small businesses flat for the next two years.
The regulatory agency also voted to keep rates for gas and steam level for the next three years.
Con Edison had been seeking a one-year electric increase, 2.5 percent for gas delivery and 2.3 percent for steam effective last month.
Additionally, the utility could have returned in 2015 seeking further increases, according to a statement put out by the commission last week.
“This represents the best of both worlds,” Commission Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman said. “We are keeping average base delivery charges flat, while Con Edison will be making significant investments to improve grid resiliency and to improve service to all customers.”
Zibelman said that in addition to getting stabilized rates, low-income customers will retain discounts under existing programs. There also will be a business incentive rate program for small business owners who still are struggling to recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
The utility also expects to invest more than $1 billion in hardening its infrastructure to better withstand the effects of severe weather conditions.
The plan also expedites Con Edison’s search for cleaner and more efficient fuels.
Con Edison, in a statement issued following the PSC’s ruling, said it is ready to move forward on all aspects of the approved plans.
“We’re pleased the rate plan provides the resources needed to better protect New Yorkers from the next major storm,” the company said. “We will continue to work with the commission and all local and state leaders to make sure that investments are made in future years to provide our customers with the high reliability they expect and deserve.”
The commission’s complete decision is available online at dps.ny.gov.