St. James seniors blast rising PSEG electric rates

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Some seniors in St. James gathered with leaders of the state Department of Public Service to blast PSEG Long Island for its increasing electric rates. 

More than 3,000 people are part of the Long Island Coalition of All-Electric Senior Communities – a group of PSEG customers that heat their homes with all-electric heating systems. They are advocating for lower rates.

"You're trying to stay on Long Island so you can stay with your children. Now, all of a sudden, you've got electric bills that you never really expected," said Stephen Gleason, the founder of the coalition. 

Phyllis Sullivan, the president of the Leisure Knoll community in Ridge, says residents there are making some tough decisions so they can keep the heat on in the winter months.

"They have to make a decision between what kind of groceries to buy and what kind of meds to get," says Sullivan. 

DPS director Guy Mazza told seniors that PSEG offers all-electric customers a discount of $10 a month and made suggestions on how to make their home more energy-efficient. 

He added that "there's no magic solution that will solve everybody's concerns."

DPS is a group that oversees the operations of LIPA and PSEG.

PSEG spokesman Jeffrey Weir offered a statement to News 12 Long Island that says in part that "PSEG welcomes the opportunity to work with the coalition and offer its members a free home energy audit." That audit could save customers up to $200 a year, the utility says.

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