New York State is facing a delicate balancing act as it seeks to transition to a more sustainable and renewable energy system while also ensuring that basic utilities remain affordable and accessible for all residents.

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Amid this, New York residents are bracing to experience significant gas and electric rate hikes as 2023 progresses and utility companies are preparing for the new state-mandated climate-related upgrades and clean energy initiatives.

The coming rate hikes are part of New York's ongoing efforts to transition to a more sustainable and renewable energy system but there are serious concerns about affordability and access to essential utilities for low-income and marginalized persons.

The New York State Public Service Commission approved the rate hikes in April 2023, citing the need for infrastructure upgrades and increased costs due to New York's ambitious clean energy push. The rate hikes will affect customers of several major utility companies, including NYSEG, National Grid, and Con Edison.

NYSEG has proposed a 15.7% increase in electric use and a 5.1% increase in gas use over three years.

These rate hikes have been met with criticism from both consumer advocates and politicians, who argue that many households in New York State are already struggling to make ends meet due to the economic fallout from the pandemic and the rate hikes will only add to their financial burden.

On the other hand, supporters of the clean energy push argue that the rate hikes are necessary to fund critical infrastructure upgrades and renewable energy initiatives. New York State has ambitious goals set in place for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a more sustainable energy system. These looming rate hikes are seen as a necessary step in achieving those goals.

In addition to the rate hikes, New York State is also investing heavily in renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, as well as energy storage and other technologies.

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