Finally, some good news for Long Islanders beleaguered by today's tough economic times.
The Long Island Power Authority has announced its customers' electric bills are changing again -- but this time, they're going down.
The nonprofit utility announced a 3.2 percent electric bill reduction Thursday. The average household will save $5.11 a month, starting May 1.
The reduction reflects lower-than-expected fuel prices, LIPA says. It negates a 3.2 percent increase that took effect in January.
Ratepayers and Gov. David Paterson criticized LIPA when it planned to boost bills by 4.8 percent last fall, despite declining fuel prices. LIPA said it faced other rising expenses but pared the increase to 3.2 percent.
New York City-based Consolidated Edison is raising the power-delivery portion of electric bills by 6.1 percent on May 1. That part's independent of fuel prices.
The city passed legislation last year to encourage increased development of renewable energy with a process called net metering. Net metering allows electricity customers with qualified renewable energy systems to sell excess electricity back to their local utility.