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Submit a public comment online in ONE minute to help prevent Central Hudson from implementing a rate increase that would hurt thousands of people across New York state. Go to this web page and tell them why we need to #StopCentralHudson. You can use our talking points below.

 

* Low-income people, particularly low-income people of color, already can’t afford Central Hudson’s rates. Double-digit rate increases would worsen this affordability crisis.

*Central Hudson already shuts off the highest percentage of its customers of any New York utility company. Double-digit rate increases would escalate shut offs.

*People need utilities to plug in their nebulizers and chill their insulin and keep their children safe and warm. Gas and electricity are matters of life and death for people and it shouldn’t be made inaccessible to those who can’t afford it. 

*Double digit rate increases, and their worsening of the affordability and shut off crises, would cancel out much of the impact of the improvements to customer service that Central Hudson has agreed to make. 

*Fixed charges must be reduced, not raised. At $24 a month, Central Hudson’s fixed charges for residential customers are the highest in the state, and now the utility wants to increase the charge to $25. These charges deprive customers of their ability to control their bills by using less energy and are inequitable, charging everyone the same, regardless of use. 

*No increase in Central Hudson’s allowed profit rate. The utility has proposed upping its allowed “Return on Equity” (profit) from 9% to 9.5%. This increase is not justified, particularly now that the company may earn new performance-based profits based on performance—an outcome of the Reforming the Energy Vision initiative.

*Ratepayers shouldn’t have to pay $300,000 in the coming year to help Central Hudson executives and employees buy stock in Fortis.

*Our residents and businesses cannot afford a new $36+ million Central Hudson employee training center, at a projected annual operating cost of $1.6 million.

*The rate plan should cover three years, not one. Rate plans usually cover three-years. Short rate periods cost ratepayers extra (customers pay the utility’s legal fees for rate hike proposals).

*The PSC should require additional public hearings for this rate case to explore solutions for low-income customers that include effective representation by those customers.