The New York Department of Public Service and National Grid filed a joint proposal that would increase energy rates for approximately 1.9 million customers in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and parts of Long Island.
The agreement would raise bills by an average of $5.56 per month in 2021, and then by $4.89 per month in 2022.
The increase would finance the construction of the highly controversial North Brooklyn Pipeline, as well as other projects in the outer boroughs.
The news comes after two years of negotiations between National Grid and the Department of Public Service amid constant protests against the pipeline project.
Despite the criticism, National Grid holds that the new construction will allow for a safer, more reliable, and more efficient gas supply. vironmental Protection Committee to pitch the pipeline project.
The project would install a new gas pipeline underneath parts of Brownsville, Greenpoint, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Williamsburg. Detractors argue that the pipeline would pollute the ground and water of multiple communities of color and low-income communities, as well as further the city’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Groups such as the Sane Energy Project have opposed National Grid at every step during the pipeline approval process.
“This project is not a replacement of leaking pipelines, it is an expansion to charge us, the rate-payers, millions of dollars in rate hikes to fill their shareholders pockets,” reads the Sane Energy Project’s mission statement. “Our goal is to stop this project and push Governor Cuomo to mandate that our Public Service Commission invests our rate-payer dollars in renewable energy and efficiency that is affordable and accessible to all New Yorkers regardless of income or zip code.”
The New York Department of Public Service must hold evidentiary hearings to approve its agreement with National Grid, during which it will collect statements of opposition and support. The hearings are tentatively scheduled for July and August.