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New York Retail providers, utilities spar over whose rates are lower

After National Grid asked New York electricity regulators to make public the electricity rates of both it and its retail energy competitors, the New York State Energy Marketers Coalition (NYSEM) wrote a note to regulators discussing their side of the story.

According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, NYSEM asserted that traditional utilities can “artificially lower” their supply prices compared with the state’s retail providers due to overhead costs that are supported by delivery rates, which are regulated by the state.

“By focusing on utility price comparison, ESCOs feel that they would be placed at a competitive and unfair disadvantage,” the coalition wrote in the letter.

The media outlet states that the head-butting can be traced as far back as 1990, when state officials introduced energy deregulation laws. These allow customers to compare energy plans and shop around for alternative suppliers. Still, the power is delivered to networks owned by utilities, who also charge for the service.

When the state first implemented the laws, residential customers were offered a 7 percent discount if they switched to an independent electric supplier, helping bolster New York’s competitive energy market.