Gas Bill Rate Hike Hearing - Public Comments, 1,000 Signatures

Gas Bill Rate Hike Hearing - Public Comments, 1,000 Signatures

Wed, October 26, 20163:00 PM - 9:00 PM



Our first energy campaign was with National Fuel Gas, the local supplier/distributor of residential natural gas heating services in Western New York. We found out about 6 years ago that National Fuel was mis-handling millions of dollars of public money meant for low-income weatherization. A campaign was born, money was moved from a furnace rebate program that benefited wealthier customers to a low- income weatherization program, and PUSH Green came on-line to connect residents to energy efficiency services and green jobs.

We found out this year that National Fuel would like to raise gas rates for customers to help pay for infrastructure improvements, like new and expanded gas distribution lines. As an organization, we recognize the urgent threat posed by climate change and fight for 100% solutions, like solar and energy efficiency, that benefit 100% of people. We must shift our dependence away from dangerous and dirty fossil fuel energy sources in order to achieve a sustainable future. Massive investments in natural gas are not sustainable. Last April, National Fuel put in a request to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), the group that regulates gas and electric companies in New York State, to raise rates by 8% for the average customer. This means that we (the consumers) could see an increase in our gas bills. We gathered a few months ago at a rate hike hearing in the Town of Amherst to request that the PSC have hearings in some of the lower income parts of the area, like Buffalo, so that everyone across race and class can have a say in something that will affect their ability to survive.

The PSC has granted the community a public hearing in the city of Buffalo. This happens this month:

Date: 

Wednesday October 26, 2016

Location: 

Downtown Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY 14203

Afternoon session starting: 3:00 p.m.

Evening session starting: 6:00 p.m.

Currently we are gathering upwards of 1,000 signatures or more to make sure that we don't get a 20% hike on our gas bills this year. We also are encouraging people to speak at the rate hike hearing on October 26th. It is important that we show up in big numbers to make this thing happen. To help prepare for this hearing we'll be offering assistance with speeches and comments at our next Energy Democracy meeting which is:

Date:

Tuesday October 4, 2016 

Location:

271 Grant St, Buffalo NY

Starting:

6pm-8pm

Another TBA                                                                                                     _____________________________________________________________________

We're still gathering signatures. You can send comments via website, email, or over the phone. See below for detailed instructions.

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Via the Department’s Website: Comments may also be entered directly into the case on the Commission’s website. Here is a direct link to the case page http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=16-G-0257&submit=Search Once here, enter your comment in the “Post Comments” section located at the top of the page. 

Via Mail/E-Mail: Submit comments electronically to Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, at secretary@dps.ny.gov or by mail or delivery to Secretary Burgess at the Department of Public Service, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223- 1350. Comments delivered in these manners should reference “National Fuel Distribution Corp. Rate Case” (16-G-0257). 

Via Toll-Free Opinion Line: Individuals may choose to submit comments by calling the Commission’s toll-free Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120. This line is set up to receive in-state calls 24-hours a day. Callers should press “1” to leave comments about Case 16-G-0257 “National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp.” Comments received via the Opinion Line are not transcribed, but a summary is provided to the Commission for their consideration.