2007_05_conedsucks.jpgIt's time for to break out the "Con Ed Sucks" signs! The utility has requested to raise electricity rates 17%; the Post reports, "typical residential cusomer paying $70 a month would pay an extra $12 per month starting April 1, 2008." (The increase for businesses is slightly smaller, 10.7%.) Well, we guess those livery cab drivers have to be paid somehow! And fixing the Long Island City network, which Con Ed should have been doing all along. Here's what Con Ed head Kevin Burke said in the press release:

“Electricity use has increased more than 20 percent over the past 10 years, and we are responding with a two-fold approach. The energy efficiency measures we propose will help slow the rising demand for power. At the same time, we need to increase our investments if we are to maintain a reliable, resilient, and robust infrastructure necessary to meet the needs of a growing population and an increasing demand for electricity."

But Assemblyman Michael Gianaris tells the Empire Zone, "At a time when they’ve now proven they can’t spend their money in the right places, I don’t see how this increase can be justified. It’s a very profitable company that has proven to have serious failures in its reliability. To request what can only be a massive increase in rates to the customers who are already paying among the highest rates in the nation is unfathomable.”

Then again, a $12 incremental Con Ed rate hike for the average homeowner is nothing compared to the Water Board's proposed rate hike, which would increase bills by $72/month. The next Rent Guidelines Board should be a doozy!

Queens blackout of 2006 photograph by huckfunn on Flickr