A three-year rate hike plan proposed by Central Hudson, has been approved by the New York Public Service Commission.  The plan will raise customer usage rates but will reduce the monthly fixed rate.

The rate hike is lower than originally proposed.  Partly because of local consumer and environmental groups who lobbied for the lower rates.    Also, under the plan, the fees from credit and debit cards or walk-in locations will be eliminated.

The three-year plan will run July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021.

Here is how he increases break down:

Usage Rate

Year One: 1.33%

Year Two:  2.99%

Year Three: 4.41%

Natural Gas

Year One: 2.05%

Year Two:  4.4%

Year Three: 5.45%

Fixed monthly customers will be reduced in increments each year during the new agreement.

Central Hudson says the hike is needed to improve electric service reliability.  They plan on replacing aging infrastructure, increasing tree trimming and vegetation management programs.  Plus, new equipment to boost system efficiency to lower customers’ energy use.  The company also plans upgrades to their computer system to improve cybersecurity and enable the use of new technologies.