Public Utilities Commission

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Public Utilities Commission approved a 14 percent rate increase in National Grid electricity rates. The vote was met with anger by residents who attended this  morning's public hearing.

Angry residents repeatedly asked the PUC not to approve the electricity rate hike. Warren resident Joyce Katzberg said she wants publicly-owned utilities that aren’t beholden to corporate interests.

“And for those utilities to be brought to us through clean, safe, and renewable sources, not fracking, not mountaintop removal, and not nuclear power plants,” said Katzberg.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

In a packed hearing room, the state’s Public Utilities Commission listened to testimony for much of the day on National Grid’s proposed 24 percent rate hike.

The increase would kick in January 1st, how long it will last is another matter. The PUC heard testimony both for and against stretching a lower rate out over twelve months as opposed to the requested six months.

Residents will get a chance Tuesday to tell the state’s Public Utilities Commission how they feel about a proposed 24 percent rate hike from National Grid.  If approved, the rate hike would kick in on January 1st .

The state’s Public Utilities Commission will consider a request on Friday to extend the winter moratorium on shutting off utilities.

The George Wiley Center is a non-profit that advocates for the poor. It has asked the PUC to extend the moratorium from April 15th to May 1st. The George Wiley Center’s Debbie Clark said April is just too early to cut off the heat.

More Rhode Islanders have had their gas or electricity shut off so far this year than in all of 2012. That, according to National Grid figures supplied to the state Public Utilities Commission.

In 2012, there were 18,250 shutoffs.  There were seven hundred more than that in the first ten months of this year.

It’s a big concern to advocates for the poor like Debbie Clark of the George Wiley Center.

Advocates for the poor are raising concerns about proposed changes in Rhode Island’s utility shut-off rules.

For years, Rhode Island law has forbidden utility shutoffs from November 1st through April 15th. Under new rules being considered by the state Public Utilities Commission, that window would be closed April 1st and people would have earn less to be protected.

Debbie Clark of the George Wiley Center, a non-profit that advocates for the poor, said an April 1st moratorium shutoff is far too early for chilly New England.

RI Freezes Minimum Charge On Limo Rides For Now

Nov 11, 2013

New rules regarding the operation of limousines and other non-taxi public sedans go into effect Monday.  The state Public Utilities Commission will hold off on enforcing a controversial provision of the new rules.

file / RIPR

The public is invited to comment Tuesday on a proposed rate increase by the Providence Water Supply Board. Because Providence sells its water to other municipalities, the rate increase would affect residents in nearly 60 percent of the state.

It’s the first rate hike in four years, and for city residents it means a 24 percent increase. The water board says that’s an additional $6.00 for the average customer.

For the cities of Warwick and East Providence, and for the Kent County and Bristol County water authorities, rates would go up 32 percent.