Commercial gas meter in Riverhead for National Grid.

Commercial gas meter in Riverhead for National Grid. Credit: Newsday/Mark Harrington

National Grid's natural gas customers on Long Island could see a monthly bill increase of nearly $29 per month in the first year of a three-year agreement starting June 1, the utility announced last week.

If the three-year agreement is approved by the state Public Service Commission, a typical residential heating customer on Long Island and in the Rockaway Peninsula, using 102 therms of natural gas monthly, could see a total bill increase of $28.50 per month, records show.

Meanwhile, the average New York City natural gas customer of National Grid would see a monthly increase of about $28 in the first year of the agreement, the utility said.

In the second year for Long Island, the increase would be about $14 monthly and the third year's increase would be about $20 monthly, or an average of a 9.4% increase annually over the three-year rate plan, National Grid said. 

The actual impact would vary, officials said, depending on usage and service classification.

In a statement, Phil DeCicco, National Grid's New York general counsel, said the plan “includes critical improvements in infrastructure maintenance and upgrades that will enable us to continue providing reliable, affordable service while advancing the state’s energy priorities.”

This proposed rate plan, officials said, accounts for increased costs National Grid expects to incur over three years. According to a news release, “The joint proposal submitted today was developed in response to significant feedback from customers, communities, environmental advocates, and other key stakeholders.” The PSC will hold hearings on the proposed plan, the release said.

The utility said it would utilize the new revenue to accelerate gas main replacements with cleaner energy alternatives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase reliability during extreme weather, improve language access for customers and implement new residential weatherization programs. National Grid said it has replaced 1,500 miles of gas mains since 2013.

The plan would also allocate more than $210 million in bill credits for vulnerable New Yorkers, including about $60 million in the first year of the rate period, the utility said.

“The joint proposal will now be subject to public review and comment by customers and stakeholders,” the state's Department of Public Service said in a statement. “The joint proposal was signed by the companies, Department of Public Service staff, New York City, and the Environmental Defense Fund. No decision has been made by the Commission regarding the joint proposal. A decision in the rate case is anticipated this summer, after comments on the joint proposal are received, reviewed, and considered.”

National Grid, which has 1.9 million downstate customers, had initially been seeking a 17.5% increase annually on Long Island and 19.2% in the city, officials said.

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