NEW YORK — Thirty-six upstate elected officials have signed onto a letter opposing National Grid’s proposal to raise rates an average of $100/year for electric and gas customers; the company’s proposal does not comply with New York’s new Climate Law.
National Grid is proposing to spend $1.4 billion on new fossil fuel infrastructure and to increase gas sales in its territory, which does not comply with the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandated emissions reduction targets. The officials’ letter states the following:
“The CLCPA mandates that the state achieve net zero emissions by 2050, necessitating an end to most fossil fuel use by that date. Yet, National Grid is proposing gas infrastructure with the assumption that it will be ‘used and useful’ past 2050.”
As of June 2021, 253,535 residential and 12,914 non-residential upstate National Grid customers were 60 or more days behind on their bills, owing a total of over $408 million to the utility. Customers who self-certify to their utility that they have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis are protected from shut-offs until the end of this year.
“At a time when most of our residents and small businesses are still struggling to get back on their feet, rate increases of this kind simply cannot be approved,” said Assemblymember John T. McDonald III (District 108). “We also must continue our strong commitment to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and its goal for a decrease in fossil fuel use. We have to make this a priority in the coming years and encourage and reward energy conservation.”