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Good news and bad news for LIPA customers in 2011

A file photo of LIPA employee working on

A file photo of LIPA employee working on Hampshire Road in Great Neck. (June 26, 2010) Photo Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

As Long Island Power Authority trustees gather Friday in Uniondale to present the utility's proposed 2011 budget, at least one portion of next year's bills appears set to rise.

While bills overall could remain stable or even decrease, LIPA chairman Howard Steinberg already has telegraphed the delivery charge on bills could increase. The delivery charge, which represents costs not associated with fuel purchases, but rather the costs of getting electricity to homes and businesses, makes up about half the bill.

At a trustees meeting last week, Steinberg said the authority probably would have "good news" overall for customers, because natural gas prices, which account for 99 percent of the utility's fuel usage, have come down.

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