Feds relent, avoid big electricity rate hikes

ALBANY - (AP) - Governor Andrew Cuomo says the FederalEnergy Regulatory Commission has acted to save New York Cityelectric customers $500 million in each of the next three years.

The federal regulator made the decision yesterday as Cuomo andthe state Legislature acted on a bill that allows the city toguarantee property tax breaks to power plants, avoiding the needfor the $1.5 million in rate increases.

Although the plants were receiving the city tax breaks, theyweren't assured in law. So the federal regulator had granted rateincreases based on the full tax bills of the power plants.

As residents faced increases of up to 12 percent and businessesfaced up to 14 percent increases, Cuomo, Senator Charles Schumer,Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the state Legislature intervened withthe legislation.

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