LIPA announces rate hike for customers

BRENTWOOD - The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) announced today that rates will be going up for its customers.LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey says contrary to popular belief, the decision to increase rates resulted from higher fuel costs for May, June and July, not from Tropical Storm Irene. Hervey says the utility now has about $18 million in uncollected money forecasted for the end of the year, which equals to $3.07 more per month, per customer.This is also the first increase ratepayers will see under LIPA's policy of quarterly rate adjustments that was put in place in November, replacing bi-annual adjustments. Legislator Wayne Horsely (D-Babylon), the chairman of Suffolk's Energy Committee, thinks it's the right thing to do."There won't be the wild swing in your rates when you take a look at it as a quarterly charge," he says. As for the effects of Irene, LIPA officials say they're not expecting the first bill from National Grid to come for another few weeks. Any increases pertaining to the storm will likely be seen in the first quarter of 2012.

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