Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The Cost of Power
Electricity, that is. Here's a question for you: why, when the cost of natural gas is plummeting along with the wholesale cost of electricity, are New York's Central Hudson, Rochester Gas and Electric and NYSEG looking for rate hikes?
They argue that their aging infrastructure requires significant repair and the cost of the materials has gone up. They argue demand is down.
But the fact is that wholesale prices have tanked to levels not seen since 2003. Local legislators want to know whether the utilities have tightened their belts. The state assembly has a joint hearing going on that questions how the whole system is run.
It is, by many accounts, a mess.
So far, the rate hikes are getting the thumbs down by the state. But the next request is on file and a decision is expected this summer.
Compare what's going on in NY to New Hampshire. National Grid's requesting a rate change, too. It wants to cut what it charges its customers by 33%.
Makes you wonder.