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ConEd gets lower-than-requested electric, gas rate hikes in NY case

New York regulators approved significantly lower electric and gas rate increases than Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. requested in a settlement that included provisions to mitigate climate change.

The New York Public Service Commission, or PSC, said the three-year rate plan represents a "more favorable" deal for ratepayers than ConEd initially proposed.

The settlement also advances New York's climate goals by discontinuing incentives to switch from oil to gas service, approving a more aggressive approach to managing gas leaks, and promoting electrification and alternatives to "traditional infrastructure investment," the PSC said.

The settlement authorizes ConEd to spend $700 million over three years on energy efficiency programs, the company said in a statement. The company will also offer rebates for geothermal heat pumps, high-efficiency appliances and electric vehicle chargers, and it intends to develop a plan to manage climate change risk.

The commission approved a $113.3 million electric rate increase, or a 3.1% increase, in the first year; a $370.3 million increase, or 3.8%, in the second year; and a $326.4 million increase, or 3.3%, in the third year. ConEd had requested an electric revenue increase of $485 million, or 4.6%. The PSC said ConEd's requested increase would have worked out to 7%, considering $178 million of expiring customer credits.

The PSC approved a $47.2 million increase, or 6.7%, in first-year gas rates; a $176.3 million increase, or 7.3%, in the second year; and a $170.3 million hike, or 6.5%, in the third year. The utility sought a rise in gas revenues of $210 million, or 9.1%, which the PSC said would be a 14% increase when factoring in $102 million of expiring gas customer credits.

The settlement comes just days after ConEd announced further efforts to reduce gas use amid an ongoing moratorium on new gas hookups in much of supply-constrained Westchester County, N.Y.