Rate hikes set to take effect across New YorkA number of New York electricity customers are set to see rate hikes on their energy bills. However, by how much remains to be seen.

Electricity rates have been the cause of headaches for much of the winter due to the polar vortex and the subsequent strain it put on the electric grid. Despite the cold weather being behind us, energy prices continue to frustrate many. There are any number of reasons that these rates are increased, depending on the state of the electric grid and its ability to effectively transmit power to customers.

Rate increases to soon take effect

The Poughkeepsie Journal reported that in the near future, New York electricity customers will need to pay more for power. While typically rate hikes are brought upon by the utility, in this case they will be implemented by the New York Independent System Operator–which is the body responsible for operating the state electric grid along with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, one of the biggest government organizations responsible for monitoring the country’s energy industry. The rate hikes are set to take effect on May 1.

The news source noted that one of the motivating factors behind the price hikes is to get more power generating capacity into the New York metropolitan area, as well as other communities along the Hudson River.

“The NYISO believes its proposed phase-in of the new zone will provide the right investment signal to retain critical existing resources and allow time for the development of new transmission, generation, demand response and energy efficiency resources that would mitigate future cost impacts to consumers,” said Ken Klapp, a spokesman for the NYSIO, according to the news source.

Potential to limit the blow

Though these rate hikes are inevitable, politicians are working to lessen the blow so that customers can prepare. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D- NY), is working with the NYISO and FERC to spread the rate hikes over the next three years, to make them more manageable, according to the Daily Freeman.

The 10 percent rate hike would be limited to 4 percent during the phase in process, and after that another 1 percent each of the following years. Many believe this would be able to accomplish the same goal of attracting new power plants to the area.

Fortunately for rate payers, New York is a state with a deregulated energy market, meaning that customers can choose from whom they purchase their power. Consider looking at all the available plans in your area to find the one that works best for your budget.

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