Consolidated Edison has some of the highest residential electric rates in the nation – more than twice the national average – and this past week, AARP helped beat back another major potential hike. By calling attention to Con Ed’s soaring rates, coupled with sky-high home heating costs this winter and the lack of a meaningful consumer voice at Public Service Commission (PSC) rate hike hearings, AARP helped knock Con Ed’s initial $400 million rate hike proposal down to a roughly $20 million increase after two years.
Con Ed and the state had agreed to a $40 million year three increase, but AARP kept up the pressure and was able to cut that in half. Con Ed rates will be frozen for the next 2 years, meaning no rate increases. PSC Commissioners cited AARP and our efforts before approving the reduced rate increase – a victory for New Yorker’s kitchen table economies. AARP continues pressing for a utility watchdog, in the form of an independent utility consumer advocate with the power to sue over unfair rate increases and a mission to fight for consumers when utility companies push for higher rates. That would help ensure victories like this aren’t so few and far between.