NEW YORK -- For Con Ed customers, more clean and efficient energy may be on the way, thanks in part to the work of Pace University, Earthjustice and other environmental and energy groups. Last month, the New York Public Service Commission adopted a new three-year rate plan for Consolidated Edison Company of New York, addressing the energy provider's responsibility to its customers and the environment.
The announcement comes after months-long settlement negotiations, as a result of a joint proposal filed on Sept. 19 by Department of Public Service staff and signed by Pace Energy and Climate Center, the City of New York, Natural Resources Defense Council and 20 other signatories, including local and regional businesses. The proposal was introduced to establish fair rates for customers, as well as advance climate responsibility and improve energy efficiency.
“Our partnership with Earthjustice enabled us to obtain just and reasonable rates for Con Ed customers,” said Karl R. Rábago, Pace executive director and expert witness in the case. The rate case is a significant milestone in energy sector regulation. According to Audrey Zibelman, Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission, this announcement represents “a significant step toward modernizing the electric system and changing the utility business model.”
Among the plan's provisions are an overhaul of Con Ed’s standby rates, revised energy efficiency budgets and targets, new rate structures, incentives and pilot programs for electric vehicles as well as completion of the Climate Change Vulnerability Study by 2019.
As uncertainty clouds the future of the energy industry in Washington, local and state organizations are going to bat for fair rates, clean energy and climate responsibility. "New York is proving itself to be a leader in clean energy by modernizing the electric grid," said Chinyere Osuala of Earthjustice. "This rate plan advances that vision for New York City and Westchester residents and their families."