Case 16-G-0059: Brooklyn Union Gas
In January 2016, Brooklyn Union Gas Company, also known as National Grid or KEDNY, requested that the New York State Public Service Commission approve a proposed increase in its gas delivery rates. KEDNY serves approximately 1.2 million customers in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens, New York.
Upon receipt of the rate filing, Department of Public Service (DPS) Staff began an analysis of the Company’s request to evaluate whether – or to what extent – a rate increase is justified. DPS represents the public interest in rate proceedings and evaluates such requests with the goal of ensuring safe and reliable service at just and reasonable rates. Review of the KEDNY filing is also underway by other parties to the proceeding.
Public Statement Hearings
The Commission is seeking comment on the proposed increase to gas delivery rates. An Administrative Law Judge does preside over the gathering of public comments and all evidence relating to the rate request. The comments made at the hearings, which took place on August 10, 2016 and August 11, 2016, will become part of the formal record in these proceedings and will be presented to the Commission for consideration. Under New York State Law, the Commission must consider a utility’s proposal and may adopt or reject it in whole or in part, or modify it by adopting changes proposed by participating parties, the general public or the Commission.
It is not necessary to make an appointment in advance or present written material in order to speak at the hearings*. All comments given at the hearings are transcribed and become part of the Commission's formal record. Anyone wishing to make a comment, and was not able to attend the public statement hearings, may do so by following this link
*Disabled persons requiring special accommodations should contact the DPS at (518) 474-2520 as soon as possible. Telecommunications Relay Service users may request a sign language interpreter by calling the New York Relay Service at 711. Individuals with difficulty understanding or reading English are encouraged to call DPS at 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance.
On January 29, 2016, KEDNY filed for new gas delivery rates to be effective for the rate year ending December 31, 2017. This is the first rate increase sought by KEDNY since a rate increase went into effect on January 1, 2007. The Company filed a revised proposal on June 10, 2016.
According to the filing, the gas delivery rate increase will enable the Company to provide safe and reliable gas service through continued modernization of its pipeline infrastructure and customer information technology systems. Natural gas expansion in KEDNY’s service territory consists primarily of conversions through the NYC Clean Heat Initiative, as well as conversion of existing non-heating customers to heating.
A gas bill consists of two parts: a delivery charge and a supply charge. Through
charges, the utility recovers the cost to transport the gas to customers throughout the utility’s gas delivery system. The delivery charge is regulated by the Commission. Through the
charge, the utility recovers the cost of the gas commodity. The cost of the gas commodity is determined by the competitive market place and is not set by the Commission or the utility.
Under KEDNY’s proposal, gas delivery rates would be modified to increase the Company’s annual gas delivery revenues by approximately $261 million (a 31% delivery revenue increase). If the proposed rate request were to be approved, the Company estimates that the annualized monthly bill for gas service to a residential heating customer using 83 therms per month will increase by approximately $210 (or 17.5% on the total bill). The projected residential heating customer’s total bill impact is based on estimated supply costs.
Rate Case Components
: Included in KEDNY’s proposal is funding to modernize pipeline infrastructure, including implementing a cost recovery mechanism that will permit the Company to accelerate its replacement of aging pipes. The proposal would establish new minimum thresholds for replacement of Leak Prone Pipe (LLP). KEDNY plans to replace 50 miles of its main pipeline annually.
Low Income Programs
: KEDNY proposes to enhance its Low Income Assistance Programs by offering a new rebate program designed to assist low-income customers who convert to natural gas from an alternate fuel. KEDNY proposes a 5% increase in bill discounts to monthly heating and non-heating charges and a second rate block for residential low-income customers enrolled in the Residential Reduced Rate Program.
: As part of the rate request, the Company will continue to seek opportunities to expand its service to new customers and new areas. KEDNY proposes the Metropolitan Reliability Infrastructure project, which reinforces the backbone of the Brooklyn gas system and involves installation of 34,000 feet of 30” transmission main to increase system reliability and flexibility.
The full text of the rate case may be viewed online at DPS’s
website. From the homepage, click on “Search,” and enter the case number (16-G-0059) in the “Search by Case Number” field.
There are also several other ways to participate in the rate case process, including:
Request Party Status:
Some individuals or groups participate in rate cases by becoming a party in the case. Generally, parties commit to contribute to the development of a complete record in a proceeding by conducting discovery, submitting testimony, briefs, or other formal written comments, and/or participating in evidentiary hearings, procedural conferences and other formal events conducted in the case. Interested groups or individuals can submit a request for party status online through the Commission’s
website by searching for the case numbers and clicking the “Request for Party Status” link at the top of the Case page. Alternatively, a request form can be downloaded from the website, obtained by calling 518-474-4520 or by writing to the Administrative Law Judge, NYS Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223. The requestor will be provisionally given party status, subject to the right of other parties to object and subject to the determination of the Administrative Law Judge.
Join the Service List
: Interested persons who wish to monitor the proceedings of a particular case can do so without the formal commitment to become a party to the proceeding. The persons who subscribe to the service list of a case will receive an e-mail with a direct link to the documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulings. Persons unable or unwilling to receive such electronic notification will receive hard copies of Commission-issued documents by regular mail.
To register online, click on the “Subscribe to Service List” link at the top of the dedicated page for Case 16-G-0059. A “Service List and Mail Service List Request Form” can be downloaded from the site and the completed form sent by e-mail to Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary at
or by mail to: Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223-1350.
Monitor the Case on the Commission Website
: Interested persons who choose not to sign up to receive e-mail notifications can view our website at their convenience to check on the status of a case. All documents filed by parties, correspondence, hearing transcripts, and Commission issued documents in a given case are posted on the website. All comments submitted by the public are posted under the ‘public comments’ tab for the case.
: There are opportunities to attend public outreach events to learn about the proposals and provide comments. All comments can be submitted at the public statement hearings held on August 9 or 10, 2016 or through the methods below:
Via the Department’s Website:
Comments may also be entered directly into the case by locating the case via the home page of the Commission’s website,
by clicking on “Search,” and entering the associated case number (noted above) in the “Search by Case Number” field. After clicking to open the case, enter comments in the “Post Comments” section located at the top of the page.
Submit comments electronically to Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail or delivery to Secretary Burgess at the Department of Public Service, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350. Comments delivered in these manners should reference “KEDNY” (16-G-0059).
Via Toll-Free Opinion Line
: Individuals may choose to submit comments by calling the Commission’s toll-free Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120. This line is set up to receive in-state calls 24-hours a day. Callers should press “1” to leave comments about Case 16-G-0059 “KEDNY.” Comments received via the Opinion Line are not transcribed, but a summary is provided to the Commission for their consideration.
Comments submitted via these alternative means will be accepted at any point while this proceeding is pending, but are requested by September 8, 2016 to ensure full consideration. All comments will become part of the record considered by the Commission.