In late February, I wrote about the Rensselaer County Legislature asking for a review by New York State of a sharp increase in electricity rates. We had received many calls from residents and businesses concerned about a costly hike in electric costs, coming during a tough winter and a prolonged economic downturn. A resolution was adopted by the Legislature at the February legislative meeting requesting a review of the rate increase by the state Public Service Commission.
The winter has seemingly gone on and on, and residents have continued to express their concern over the jump in electricity rates. Customers have said that in some cases, their bills have doubled.
Those concerned about the increase in electricity rates now have a powerful ally on the scene. Congressman Chris Gibson, who represents much of Rensselaer County in the 19th Congressional District, announced Wednesday that he is also asking the state PSC for an explanation of the rate increases.
The timing of the rate increase, occurring during a long and colder than normal winter, has prompted much of the concern. Residents deserve a full explanation as to the reasons for the increase. They also deserve assurance that in the future, as residents and customers are dealing with a tough winter and difficult economy, that rates will not climb to an unaffordable level. And most of all, customers deserve an explanation as to when a sharp rate increase believed to be a temporary condition of an especially cold winter will be rolled back.
We join Congressman Gibson in awaiting an explanation.