Comments sought on gas rate changes

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

ALBANY — The New York State Public Service Commission will take public comments on Wednesday on changes in gas delivery rates and practices proposed by Liberty Utilities that would increase an average residential bill by approximately 18%.

The virtual hearings will take place at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Liberty Utilities had filed amendments to its gas tariff schedules on Nov. 24, 2021, proposing to increase its annual gas delivery revenues by approximately $3.44 million effective Nov. 1, 2022. That represents a 9.48% increase in operating revenues.

If approved, the impact would be a total monthly bill increase of about 18% on the average residential heating customer, 20% for an average commercial customer and about 18% for the industrial service class.

The company’s pre-filed testimony and exhibits can be reviewed at the Department of Public Service website, www.dps.ny.gov, by searching under Case 21-G-0577.

Under state law, the Public Service Commission must consider a utility’s proposal and may adopt or reject it, in whole or in part, or modify it. An administrative law judge is presiding over the gathering of public comments and all evidence related to the company’s proposal.

For Wednesday’s 1 p.m. hearing, electronic access is available at www.webex.com, event number 2330 905 3445, password Jan26-1pm. Phone-only access is available by dialing 518-549-0500, access code 2330 905 3445.

For the 6 p.m. hearing, the Webex event number is 2349 157 1700 with a password of Jan26-6p.m. For phone-only access, the access code is 2349 157 1700.

Anyone who wants to provide a public statement at either hearing must register in advance of the hearing, no later than 3 p.m. today. Those wishing to comment on any aspect of the proceeding will have an opportunity to make a statement on the record at the virtual public statement hearings.

Participants who want to register electronically and provide a statement and log into a hearing electronically can register by visiting www.webex.com by 3 p.m. today, clicking “Join” at the top right-hand corner of the screen, inputting the appropriate event number and providing all requested information.

On Wednesday, participants should visit www.webex.com, click “Join” at the top right-hand corner of the screen and input the appropriate event number. When they’re asked to “select audio system,” the Public Service Commission recommends that they choose to have the system “call me” or “call using computer.” The “call me” option will require them to enter their phone numbers.

Participants who want to call in to make a statement must also register by 3 p.m. today by calling 1-800-342-3330, following the prompts to the appropriate hearing and providing their first and last name, address and telephone number.

On Wednesday, phone-in participants will call 518-549-0500 and enter the appropriate access code to join the hearing. The administrative law judge will call each person who has requested to speak.

Anyone who wants to listen but not make a statement can access the hearings without registering. They will be live-streamed on the internet and available for viewing on the Department of Public Service’s YouTube channel at 1 or 6 p.m. To access the channel, visit dps.ny.gov and click on the YouTube icon at the bottom of the page.

Anyone who wants to listen to the hearing, but does not have internet access, can call 518-549-0500 and enter the applicable access code.

The administrative law judge will continue the hearing until everyone who wants to speak has been heard, or reasonable arrangements have been made to include their comments in the record.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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