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AARP, PULP Oppose NYSEG/RG&E Rate Increase Settlement

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ALBANY, N.Y. - AARP New York and the Public Utility Law Project (PULP) today voiced strong opposition to a proposal from utility regulators and NYSEG/RG&E to raise the utility companies’ rates and enact other measures over the next three years.

“AARP opposes the proposed NYSEG/RG&E double-digit increase,” AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel said. “One of the worst economic crises in the last century is not the time to increase NYSEG customers’ electric delivery rates by nearly 25% and RG&E’s electric delivery rates by more than 15% over the next three years. That’s a $146 increase for the average NYSEG customer and $100 for the average RG&E customer.

“AARP questions the need for the massive spending in the plan, including for new ‘smart’ meters and excessive grid expenditures. This proposal from the Public Service Commission (PSC) staff and the companies is inconsistent with Governor Cuomo’s and the PSC’s own goals in launching a special COVID-19 proceeding aimed at curtailing unnecessary spending by utility companies and ensuring consumers are protected,” she added. “We will work with PULP and other consumer organizations to avert or at the very least lower these increases, and to make sure the companies remain sensitive to the needs of their customers.

“PULP joins AARP New York in opposing the double-digit rate increases sought by NYSEG/RG&E in this rate case despite massive unemployment and record numbers relying upon food banks,” said Richard Berkley, Executive Director of the Public Utility Law Project of New York. “We are appalled at the Companies’ decision to go ahead with unnecessary spending and massive rate increases during this unprecedented economic crisis. Utilities are supposed to act in the public interest, but the Companies’ actions today are anything but in the public interest, which is why PULP also applauds the Public Service Commission and Governor Cuomo for launching a special COVID-19 proceeding to rein in unnecessary spending by utilities and push the utilities to lower harmful economic impacts upon consumers.”

Contact: Erik Kriss, ekriss@aarp.org

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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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