AARP Eye Center
As state regulators consider National Grid’s proposed 24 percent increase in the natural gas delivery rate for Long Islanders, AARP is playing a leading role among advocates opposing the hike, calling it unaffordable for thousands of families.
At three public hearings this year, AARP New York officials were sharply critical of the proposal. National Grid is seeking an additional $146 million in annual revenue from delivery rate increases in 2017.
If approved, the typical residential customer would pay about $198 more a year, the company estimates.
An AARP New York survey found last year that 55 percent of Long Island Gen Xers and boomers were concerned about their ability to pay their utility bills in coming years.
“The higher the cost of utilities goes, the less Long Islanders on fixed or limited incomes have for other necessities such as food and medicine,” said Bernard Macias, AARP associate state director for Long Island.
More than 5,000 AARP members on Long Island have called or written to the Public Service Commission opposing the plan. Comments must be submitted by Nov. 18 to be considered by the commission.
State regulators are expected to decide on the rate hike in December. To submit comments, call 844-254-6883 toll-free or go to action.aarp.org/NoLIGasHike.—Ronald E. Roel