State comptroller's office issues report on LIPA fuel surcharges

The state comptroller's office is taking aim at the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) for the way it's been doing business and raising customers bills. According to a report released by New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, LIPAs seven surcharge increases over the past four years are out of control. Hevesi says although LIPA did nothing criminally wrong, the board should have gone before the Public Service Commission for a base rate increase request. LIPA Chairman Richard Kessel responded to the report by saying increases in fuel cost over the past few years had to be passed onto the customer. He added that unlike most utilities, LIPA has absorbed approximately $800 million in higher costs over time to help protect customers from even bigger increases.

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