Pointing to the continuing economic slump, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, questioned the Public Service Commission's decision to allow Consolidated Edison to raise rates for the second straight year.
"New Yorkers are struggling right now; the last thing they need are increases in utility bills for the purposes of lining the pockets of shareholders. I certainly recognize the need for our utilities to be able to raise revenue for critical investments in infrastructure and to keep pace with rising property taxes and pension expenses, but beyond that I find any additional increases difficult to justify during these tough times. The ten percent return on equity granted by the Commission is unfathomable and well above what most investors could reasonably expect in today's economic climate and ought to be reexamined. I have written to the Commission requesting that they reopen this rate case to determine which costs are essential to maintaining the integrity of the grid and those implicit to the value of Con Edison's stock and then modify their decision accordingly."