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July 28, 2017
For Release: Immediately
Central Hudson Proposes Plan to Continue Modernizing Energy Delivery System, Improving Customer Service and Benefitting the Environment

(Albany, NY) Improving the efficiency, safety and dependability of the Hudson Valley's electric and natural gas systems; protecting the environment; delivering energy efficiency programs; providing more energy options to customers; and enhancing service are some of the key initiatives contained within a comprehensive filing made today with the New York State Public Service Commission by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. The plan proposes to align utility rates with the projected costs to reliably and safely power the region during its term of July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019.

"We're proposing to invest in our equipment, update aging infrastructure and deploy technology to modernize the systems that deliver essential electricity and natural gas to our customers," said Michael L. Mosher, President and C.E.O. "We're committed to an even better future for our region. The plan that we have proposed will enable us to attain that goal at a fair and reasonable cost increase of about 14 and 18 cents per day for the typical residential electric and gas customer, respectively, when utilizing available offsets."

Mosher said the investments support increased levels of customer-sited solar generation and other distributed energy resources, prepares for the anticipated increase in the use of electric vehicles and helps to reduce customers' energy use by not only improving the efficiency of the electric delivery system but also offering energy efficiency incentives, tools and services. Other planned initiatives include:

  • Replacing aging poles and wires with newer, more durable equipment to harden the electric system against severe weather;
  • Utilizing modern technologies to significantly reduce electric service interruptions by automating power flows, and improving the efficiency of the electric system in order to lower customers' energy use;
  • Investing in aging electric substations and transmission lines in order to accommodate the energy needs of the region;
  • Enhancing tree trimming and vegetation management by shortening the trimming cycle to further reduce electric service interruptions caused by trees, the number one cause of power outages;
  • Replacing older natural gas mains and services with new, more modern materials to improve the safety and reliability of the natural gas system and enable the extension of natural gas service into neighborhoods;
  • Upgrading computer systems to improve cybersecurity, enable utilization of new technologies and enhance customer offerings of energy efficient products and services;
  • Continuing the environmental cleanup of the site of a former manufactured gas plant, the last of several such sites in the region that once produced gas;
  • Enlarging payment assistance programs to low-income families by offering expanded bill discounts and increasing household eligibility, as recently required by state regulations;
  • Offering new carbon reduction programs, including incentives for ground-source heat pumps, and continuing the existing suite of energy efficiency programs, such as discounts on LED lighting and rebates on high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, and proposing new Central Hudson rebates on the purchase of electric vehicles, to promote the benefits of lower overall emissions and reduced operating costs of electric transportation; and
  • Constructing a system operations center and modern training facility to enhance the safe work practices of employees and contractors.

The proposed one-year plan would set new delivery rates for electric and natural gas service to begin on July 1, 2018. It will be reviewed and decided upon by the Public Service Commission following an 11-month review process that will include participation by interested parties and public comment; the Commission may approve, modify or reject any or all of the proposed terms.  As part of the proposal, Central Hudson is proposing the use of several existing regulatory balances to offset the billing impact for customers during the term of the agreement.

The rate plan if approved as proposed, including all available credits from regulatory balances, would raise total average residential electricity bills by about $4.19 per month, or a 3.7 percent increase based on an average of 560 kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electric usage per month and July 2017 market supply costs. The current average residential electric bill is $112 per month.

The effect on average residential natural gas heating bills would be $5.54 per month, or a 4.7 percent increase, based on an average of 69 hundred cubic feet (ccf) of natural gas usage per month and July 2017 market supply costs. The current average residential bill for customers who heat with natural gas is $117 per month.

The rate plan applies exclusively to delivery charges, which are regulated and typically comprise about half of total bills. Other bill components include supply charges, which are market-based and make up about one third of bills; and taxes and state-mandated surcharges, which reflect 20 percent.

"The investments we propose to make will enable the transition to a cleaner, more-efficient and more-responsive energy system," said Mosher. "We are deeply committed to the communities we serve, and we have filed this plan to ensure that we can fulfill their energy demands of tomorrow."

For more information on the new plan, visit www.CentralHudson.com/EvenBetterFuture.

 

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Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is a regulated transmission and distribution utility serving approximately 380,000 customers in portions of eight counties of New York State's Mid-Hudson River Valley; it delivers natural gas and electricity in a 2,600-square-mile service territory that extends from the suburbs of metropolitan New York City north to the Capital District at Albany. Its mission is to deliver electricity and natural gas to an expanding customer base in a safe, reliable, courteous and affordable manner; to produce growing financial returns for its owner; to foster a culture that encourages employees to reach their full potential; and to be a good corporate citizen. Visit www.CentralHudson.com for more information.