AARP rally held against utility rate hike proposals

The AARP is calling for a consumer advocate to represent Long Island’s seniors who may not be able to afford future rate hikes from utilities such as PSEG Long Island. (3/5/14)

ROCKVILLE CENTRE - Members of the AARP rallied Wednesday afternoon in front of State Sen. Dean Skelos’s office in Rockville Centre against the rising cost of utilities on Long Island.

The group is calling for a consumer advocate to represent Long Island’s seniors who may not be able to afford future rate hikes from PSEG Long Island. 

According to a recent AARP survey, 69 percent of Long Island residents do not believe their elected officials are doing enough to fight rising energy costs.

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"New Yorkers pay some of the highest utility rates in the country, and there is not an entity in New York that can legally stand up for consumers,” says AARP representative Chris Widelo.

Widelo says he would like to see an independent consumer advocacy office present the consumer perspective on rate increase issues.

He says the AARP is hoping to install a person who could sue the Public Service Commission for approving rate hikes that the advocate considers unfair.

Members of the AARP plan to head to Albany next week in an effort to bring their message to state leaders.

State Sen. Dean Skelos and PSEG Long Island have not commented on the AARP's demands.

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