Brocton electric bills to see jolt

BROCTON — Electricity customers in the village of Brocton will see a mandated increase in their bills this month per information given out at Wednesday’s meeting of the board of trustees. Trustee Carol Horlacher attended the annual meeting of the Municipal Electric Utilities Association of New York State recently and came back with the news concerning the increase.

The increase will help subsidize four upstate nuclear power plants and renewable power generation. As part of the Clean Energy Standard, approved in August by the Public Service Commission, state utilities are being charged zero-emission credits to help preserve the four nuclear plants. The Clean Energy Standard calls for New York to obtain 50 percent of its energy resources from low-carbon sources by the year 2030.

Brocton is estimated to pay approximately $43,000 annually across the next two years toward the credits and its electric customers will see a $2 dollar increase per month on their bills, which will be explained in notations printed on the actual service bill, according to Village Clerk Sonia Lusczak.

According to the information that Horlacher brought back from the annual meeting, village ratepayers will also be subject to paying toward renewable energy credits, expected to amount to $120 for the year 2017, although that amount could increase in following years.

Horlacher, Lusczak and Mayor Richard Frost ask village ratepayers to keep in mind that “their electric bills will be increasing slightly, but this doesn’t represent a rate increase coming from the village, but from an additional charge from New York State. As our utility, we are required to collect this money on a per kilowatt basis and pass that money directly to the State.”

Information provided by the village from MEUA states that the governor has gone on record to state that the Clean Energy Standard is the most comprehensive and ambitious clean energy mandate in the state’s history to fight climate change, reduce harmful air pollution and ensure a diverse and reliable energy supply. In its beginning phase, utilities and other energy suppliers will be required to procure and phase in new renewable power sources starting with approximately 26 percent of the state’s total electricity load this year, and it’s estimated that will grow to 30 percent statewide by 2021.

Enforcement of the Clean Energy Standard requires that utilities and other energy suppliers obtain a targeted number of renewable energy credits each year. These credits will be paid to renewable developers to help finance new renewable energy sources that will be added to the electric grid.

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