ROCKVILLE CENTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Long Islanders who use National Grid for gas could be getting higher bills soon.
CBS2’s Tara Jakeway reports the company wants to raise rates again, but one state senator is trying to pull the plug on the idea.
“Utilities are always asking for more, more, more and I think New Yorkers are fed up,” Sen. Todd Kaminsky said.
Kaminsky is calling out National Grid for its latest proposed hike for customers on Long Island – who are already paying some of the highest rates in the nation.
The gas company wants to raise rates another six percent, after a 10-percent hike just three years ago.
“I’m sounding the alarm to let people know they should be talking to the Public Service Commission, talking to my office, talking to their representatives to say no more increases in the price of gas,” Kaminsky explained.
He penned his own letter to the state’s Public Service Commission, demanding it deny National Grid’s request which would create an annual proposed increase of nearly $100 per household.
News of the proposed rate increase reached Rockville Center where it’s hitting many people hard.
“I’m outraged. It’s ridiculous, how many times are they going to raise it? What’s the justification?” resident Bernie Durham demanded to know.
Durham has lived on Long Island his whole life. Retired and in his 70s, he’s finding it hard to pay his skyrocketing utilities now.
“I’m angry, I really am… I’m probably speaking for many senior citizens that are trying to live on a budget.”
On the other end of the spectrum is Michael Desmond, who says he can’t start his life with bills piling up and constant rate hikes.
“The fact that I’m 29 and living with my parents is just what living on Long Island is like. It’s really hard to live alone here because everything is so expensive,” Desmond, a Bayville resident said.
“It’s upsetting to anyone who’s already being squeezed in this economy,” Kathy Murphy added.
“I mean what’s the reason, I don’t understand, the power is already high enough,” another Long Island resident said.
CBS2 asked National Grid what its justification for the hike is – they did not give a response.
The company would only make a statement saying the Public Service Commission offers an 11-month review process open to public comment.