DPS Smackdown on National Grid September 23 2019, 0 Comments

Politico New York Energy’s Marie J. French reports (2019 09 19):

Although the Department of Public Service has yet to release details of its investigation into National Grid's moratorium on natural gas hookups, it has ordered the utility to turn on the gas for six residential and small business customers. Among the customers who will benefit from the order is Julie Levin of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Marcia Kramer of CBS2 highlighted Levin's plight — she was without gas because of the utility's moratorium on new service after disconnecting to make renovations — and asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo about the situation earlier this month. Cuomo then ordered the Public Service Commission to expand its ongoing investigation of the moratorium. The department has taken the same step in five other cases so far and continues to investigate complaints, according to DPS spokesman Jim Denn. "National Grid has justified the moratorium as a mechanism to prevent increased demand for natural gas, but in the cases that we have examined to date the company did not demonstrate that the customers would in fact increase demand," Denn said in a statement. "The Department therefore directed National Grid to provide service to those customers, and the company is doing so."

—"What they're doing overall, I believe—and I'm a little cynical about their motivations, so just factor that in—they want a new pipeline approved for natural gas," Cuomo told reporters according to Crain's New York. "Their argument is they need this new pipeline because they're running out of supply. The way they dramatize that is by saying, 'We won't accept any new applications.'"