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Long Island

PSEG Long Island to reduce power supply charge

Transmission towers carry power lines through Suffolk County

Transmission towers carry power lines through Suffolk County on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

PSEG Long Island will reduce the power supply portion of electric bills to under 6 cents next month, the latest in a string of cuts after winter bills soared.

The move puts the charge at one of its lowest levels ever.

The September charge will drop to 5.9565 cents a kilowatt hour, a 12 percent drop from this month's 6.7 cents, which itself represented a 20 percent decrease.

Customers who use an average 775 kilowatt hours should see a $6.40 drop in their September bills.

The power supply charge makes up half of customer bills. The other half, the delivery charge, is frozen until 2016 as part of the LIPA Reform Act, which led to PSEG's taking over management of the Long Island electric grid.

Lower natural gas prices are behind the reduction, just as higher gas prices were blamed for winter electric bill increases.

Customers should have seen even lower bills this summer because generally lower temperatures mean air conditioners are used less.

But how lower use will affect LIPA revenues this year is another matter. The authority generally depends on higher summer electric sales to make up for seasonal declines the rest of the year.

Also this month, PSEG bills will feature a warning about a billing scam that lures customers into using prepaid money cards to pay late bills that carry the threat of an imminent power shut-off.

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