First, the bad news. Last Wednesday, Central Hudson’s proposal to hike rates by about 20% was approved by the Public Service Commission.
The good news: the proposed 17% increase in the basic service charge, a regressive flat fee charged monthly no matter how much energy a customer uses, has been defeated. This is a major victory for low-income people, who are unfairly burdened by this fee.
This is a group victory for us and our allies at the Public Utility Law Project and Citizens for Local Power. We’re proud of the significant role of our members, who have been pushing Central Hudson and the Public Service Commission on this demand for months, played in this success. Through marching on Central Hudson, testifying before the Public Service Commission, speaking on area TV, taking it to Central Hudson’s executives in a meeting, writing in the Poughkeepsie Journal and winning an editorial against the hike, and submitting over 1/3 of official public comments on the proposed hike, our members’ voices were heard and made a difference.
This is a testament to the amount of power we’ve been able to build in a short amount of time. And, with your support, we will continue to fight for and win expanded assistance programs and shutoff protections to counter the still-disastrous impact of these rate hikes. Stay tuned for more on our next steps.