New LIPA budget may leave LIers shelling out less next year
Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) officials announced Monday that their proposed 2006 budget may leave Long Island residents with a little more money in their pockets next year.
LIPA's 2006 budget calls for a 1 percent drop in electric bills, which will save the average residential customer about $1 per month, or $12 per year. Earlier this year, LIPA implemented a 22 percent surcharge hike. But LIPA intends to prevent such a hike by banking more on residents' money early on. This year, LIPA held on to a surplus of $20 million and next year will see that increase to $75 million. LIPA chairman Richard Kessel says there has to be money available to pay for emergencies like higher fuel costs. He says if there was no cushion at the end of the year, LIPA wouldn't be in the position it was this year.
Kessel says he'll review the surcharge again in the first few months of 2006, but can't make any promises of future cuts. The reduction will go into effect on New Year's Day.