Utility customers of Rochester Electric and Gas face an opportunity to have their say on whether the utility company should be allowed to raise rates.
On Tuesday, the company scheduled two hearings to hear from the public on its proposal to raise its rates.
“This is our chance to really, sort of, really make our voices heard,” said Kristen Van Hooreweghe with the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, one on a list of groups planning to speak and pressure RG&E as the company asks the New York Public Service Commission to let it raise its rates.
A statement from RG&E predicted that, if approved, the increase would raise the monthly bill for average home by about $2.86 for electricity and $1.56 for gas.
But some advocates declared they wanted bills cut, especially the fixed monthly “customer charge” which stays the same regardless of how much juice you use.
“The fixed charge for RG&E is the highest in the state at $21.38 for electricity,” explained Van Hooreweghe, “We are asking for them to reduce the fixed charge down to something more in line of around $6.00.”
Van Hooreweghe called the charge “regressive,” since it affected all customers equally, even the elderly and those who made a point of using less electricity.
For the hearing, The Monroe County Workers Benefit Council planned a statement to say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Reject this rate hike, enact a year round moratorium on shutoffs” for lower-income families and cancel all their debts.