SYOSSET - The Department of Public Service released its review of PSEG's three-year, $221 million rate hike request Thursday and concluded that they are asking for too much.
State regulators say the rate increase proposal should be slashed to just $48 million.
According to the state agency, PSEG overestimated its rate hike request by $173 million by inflating its inflation allowance, and underestimating debt-refinance savings and projected electricity sales.
The Department of Public Service also says PSEG spent too much on advertising, staffing and tree-trimming.
In response to the state's months-long review, PSEG said, "We will carefully study and review today's proposals and testimony and will formally respond on June 4, in accordance with the procedural schedule established by the Administrative Law Judges. We remain committed to an open and transparent rate planning process."
LIPA Board member Matthew Cordaro says he's not surprised by the state's findings.
"It's not unusual for the staff of the public service commission to come back with significantly pared estimates of what the rates should be. They sharpened their pencils and then apply their own projections, which may be different," said Cordaro.
The LIPA Board of Trustees will make the final decision rate hike request by the end of the year.