Long Islanders Outraged Over 7th Utility Rate Increase This Year

More than 1 million PSEG Long Island customers will see their bills go up yet again after the utility raised its power supply rate for the seventh time over the past year. 

PSEG is increasing its power supply charge by about $10 this month for the average customer. It's the seventh month this year that the charge has gone up.

A spokeswoman said the utility is simply passing along the cost of the natural gas needed to generate electricity.

"We don't make a profit on the power supply charge," said Elizabeth Flagler.

And even though fuel prices have been trending downward, the utility expects that to change.

"With the winter months coming, the delivery for natural gas is sometimes increased, so we have to adjust our power supply charge for that," she said. 

But customers remained outraged. Patty Poulin posted a stinging message on the PSEG Long Island Facebook page, writing, "Your rate increases are CRIPPLING Long Islanders. Start cutting at the top of your food chain please... I will petition, I will fight, and as a Long Islander, I will not use the term, 'there's nothing we can do.'" 

She told NBC 4 New York Tuesday the charge was "ridiculous." 

"It's not fair. Why are we paying more than the rest of the country?" she said. 

PSEG Long Island said while the power supply charge has increased seven times this year, it has also been reduced in other months. The total annual increase was about $37 for the average customer. 

The utility offered its explanation to Poulin in a direct response to her Facebook post but it did little to diminish her anger and frustration. She's vowing to continue using social media to protest electric rates she said are helping to drive people off Long Island. 

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