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Thiele seeks state intervention on PSEG rate hike bid

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. wants state to investigate the PSEG rate hike request.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. wants the  state to investigate the PSEG rate hike request.

In his unrelenting criticism of PSEG-LI, Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) is calling on New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to review the utility company’s rate hike request prior to any action.PSEG-LI has requested a $387.1 million hike to take place over a three-year period beginning in 2016. But in a preliminary report, the Department of Public Service -LI has recommended the hike be lowered to $324.6 million. Its final report is expected at the end of September.

But Mr. Thiele joined Brookhaven Town officials in charging that the DPS-LI numbers included a $220 million error.

“The major error by DPS-LI in its review of the rate case has destroyed public faith in the quality of their oversight,” Mr. Thiele said.

PSEG-LI claims its agreement with the Long Island Power Authority allows for no review by the DPS or the state of its rate recommendations.

“If this position is accepted, Long Islanders will be totally helpless to control electric costs,” Mr. Thiele said.

Mr. Thiele has sponsored legislation calling for an elected LIPA Board of Trustees; restoration of oversight of the utility by the state comptroller and attorney general; and regulatory authority by the state Public Service Commission.

“In 2013, I voted against the LIPA Reform Act because it did not include the level of oversight necessary to protect the public,” Mr. Thiele said. “Time and again, the actions of PSEG-LI have demonstrated that the Act has no real teeth to protect ratepayers,” he said.

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