Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Dutchess/Columbia), Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Energy Committee, wrote to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) urging that at least one in-person public hearing be held in Dutchess County regarding Central Hudson’s proposed rate increases.
“Ratepayers in the Hudson Valley have faced sky-high utility bills in recent years, bills that were only exacerbated by the flawed rollout of Central Hudson’s new billing system that left many of my constituents having to decide whether to pay their electricity bill or put food on the table,” said Assemblymember Barrett. “Given the significant rate increase requested by Central Hudson, it is more important than ever to have an in-person public hearing on this proposed rate increase so that all ratepayers have the ability to voice their concerns.”
Central Hudson Gas & Electric has a rate case before the Public Service Commission to increase electrical rates by an average of 16%, and natural gas rates by an average of 19%. There are currently two sets of virtual public hearings scheduled in September for the public to weigh in on the proposed rate increase. The lack of reliable broadband in many parts of rural Dutchess County as well as limited access for low-income and elderly ratepayers, particularly vulnerable populations who may not have or know how to use the technology needed to participate, creates additional barriers to attending virtual public hearings.