CLP's Susan H. Gillespie, Jen Metzger, Amy Trompetter, Betta Broad, and Evelyn Wright among those who made statements against the proposed Central Hudson rate plan.
Susan Gillespie, president of the board of local activist group Citizens for Local Power (CLP), accused the utility of raising rates as a way to maintain corporate profits as electric usage flattens. She said that Central Hudson’s basic service charge, which the utility wants to increase by $1, is already the highest in the state.
CLP’s Jen Metzger said there’s “some good stuff” the utility is funding, such as the “continued investments in the distribution system to do distributions automation, which better supports a two-way grid” in which power is provided by small localized sources, such as community-based solar systems.
But she said the company’s attempt to increase its profits off customers in the proposed rate increase is excessive. Part of Central Hudson’s proposed IT investment of $30 million (which Metzger termed “ridiculously huge”) is to enhance CenHub, a portal on its website selling third-party products and services, such as smart thermostats and community solar projects, as a kind of one-stop shop for consumers. “They’ll make money off every transaction,” said Metzger. She said that expecting ratepayers to pay 100 percent of the investment when they will receive only 50 percent of the profits is outrageous.