O&R Files for Electric and Gas Rate Review With NYSPSC

To provide for the continued safe, reliable and secure operation of its electric and natural gas delivery systems, Orange and Rockland Utilities (O&R) today requested a regulatory review of its electric and natural gas delivery rates by the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC).

O&R President and CEO Robert Sanchez said, “Today’s rate review request is designed to meet the demands of a dynamic energy marketplace where customers desire more control over their energy usage and expect a more reliable and resilient system. This request achieves those goals.”

 

He added, “At the same time, O&R will continue to champion its core values: public and employee safety, operational excellence and enhanced customer experience.”

 

Proposed Electric Delivery Rates

 

To fund these proposed electric delivery initiatives, O&R seeks an increase in revenues for electric delivery of $20.3 million. If approve by the NYSPSC, those new rates would become effective in January 2019. Under the proposed rates, the bill for a typical residential electric customer using a monthly average of 600 kWh would increase an average of approximately $6 per month from $122.03 to $128.21.

 

The revenue increases to fund both the electric and natural gas delivery proposals in this rate review request were mitigated by the recently enacted federal tax code changes that reduced O&R’s corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

 

O&R will realize a tax savings under its current energy delivery rate structure from the time the new federal corporate tax rates became effective until January 2019 when new O&R energy delivery rates are due to go into effect. O&R will defer the federal corporate tax savings from that period as a customer benefit. The NYSPSC is expected to decide the amount, manner and timing of that customer benefit’s return to customers.

 

To further improve future customer experience and increase customer engagement, O&R plans to install 230,000 electric smart meters and 130,000 smart gas modules in its New York service area by 2020. In addition, O&R will continue to invest in upgrades to its customer-facing digital platforms, including the company’s website, “My Account” portal, the mobile app and the Green Button Connect (GBC) program, which makes it easier for customers to share their usage information directly with energy efficiency program developers.

 

Under this proposal, O&R also has developed four new energy efficiency programs for residential customers, including integrating more energy efficient products and instant purchase rebates into the My ORU Store. O&R also plans to employ software analytics to further assist commercial and industrial customers through personalized energy efficiency recommendations and customized energy usage reports.      

 

During this transition period, O&R also proposes to establish new programs, processes and demonstration projects including, most notably, a plan to encourage electric vehicle adoption by its customers. O&R also is planning to further improve efficiency, reliability and resilience in its system through the construction of new electric substations in Stony Point, Port Jervis and New City. For more information on issues discussed here, please go to the Community Updates page. 

 

Proposed Natural Gas Delivery Rates

 

O&R has implemented a number of programs to support and fortify the operation of its natural gas delivery system to continue to provide safe, reliable and clean natural gas service.

 

O&R’s natural gas rate review request includes initiatives to:

  • Enhance gas safety by replacing 22 miles of aging pipe per year.
  • Provide greater safety in the operation of the natural gas delivery system through increased deployment of inspectors to job sites, video confirmation of pipe location and increased outreach to excavators.

Under O&R’s planned efforts to continue gas main replacement, the company is on track to remove all low pressure gas systems, which includes all aging cast-iron mains, by 2019 --- a major milestone for O&R.

 

To fund these initiatives, O&R seeks an increase in revenues for gas delivery of $4.5 million. If approved by the NYSPSC, those rates would become effective in January 2019. Under the proposed rates, the bill for a typical residential natural gas customer using 100 Ccf per month would increase about $4 per month from $133.64 to $137.76.

 

The rate filings and additional information are available at oru.com and www.coned.com/rateplans.