CORTLANDT, N.Y. - Following a request by Consolidated Edison for a rate increase of $375 million to pay for storm expenses, Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi made a statement strongly opposing the rate increase.
"I cannot believe that Con Edison would have the audacity of asking the [Public Service Commission] for any rate increases, let alone for a $375 million increase after their slow response to power restoration for hundreds of thousands of citizens in Westchester County," the statement says. "They have multi-millions of dollars in profits each year. Con Edison should use those funds for capital improvements. Don't raise the costs to their customers who suffered during Hurricane Sandy and Irene."
Con Edison is an investor-owned company with about $13 billion in annual revenue. According to the company's latest quarterly earnings statement, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012, Con Edison increased net income for common stock by $71 million in the first nine months of 2012, from $860 million in the first nine months of 2011 to $931 million in 2012.
Con Edison has said that the proposed rate increase is the smallest since 2004 and would raise overall customer bills by only 3.3 percent.
The rate filing includes $1 billion in investments, $250 million of which are storm-hardening measures. Reacting to Puglisi's statement, Con Edison spokesperson Allan Drury said in a statement that, "The purpose of our rate filing is to provide initial funding to make equipment upgrades that could prevent such extensive damage from future storms and allow us to restore service more quickly to those customers who do lose service."
He continued that, "Our crews restored service to more than 1.1 million customers affected by Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter. That’s five times as many as were affected by Hurricane Irene, which was the second most devastating storm in Con Edison history."