O&R wants to hike your rates

Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) last week filed electric and natural gas base rate increase requests with the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC).

The average household would see a hike in electricity rates of about $8 per month ($100 per year) if O&R’s rates are approved by the state. In addition gas rates would increase about $26 per month ($312 per year).

O&R said its electric rate increase request is needed to fund initiatives designed to:

· Harden O&R’s energy delivery systems through new construction projects to reduce potential damage from future storms and new technology to provide more accurate and timely communications to its customers during major storms.

·  Develop electric system enhancements, in conjunction with New York State’s initiatives to modernize the electric utility industry, through which increased energy efficiency investments will engage customers in the management of their energy bills to help them reduce their energy use and save money.

·  Provide for the significantly increased cost of property taxes resulting from both O&R’s investment in infrastructure and increasing local tax rates.

·   Recover the cost of repairs to electric system damage due to Superstorm Sandy.