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South Queens lawmakers hosting Con Edison customer assistance day in Ozone Park

Jun. 27, 2023 By Bill Parry

Councilwoman Joann Ariola will be hosting a Con Edison Customer Assistance Day at her Ozone Park district office on Thursday, June 28, after having to postpone the event earlier this month when smoke from Canadian wildfires made the air quality hazardous.

The councilwoman is partnering with state Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar to help their constituents resolve any issues they may have regarding their Con Ed bills with representatives from the utility company available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 93-06 101st Ave. in Ozone Park.

“As ConEd celebrates its 200th year in business, it is great to see them doing their part to help their customers and our constituents — especially during these difficult economic times,” Councilwoman Joann Ariola said. “I am proud to open up my office for anyone who might have any issues with their bills, and I want to thank my colleagues for being a part of this day. Together, we can help to lighten the financial burden that too many people are sadly struggling with due to their utility bills.”

Unencumbered by a primary challenge, and running unopposed in November’s general election, Ariola is able to work with her two colleagues in government on the top issue of the day, the high cost of living.

“Residents oftentimes call our offices with questions regarding their ConEdison bill or service. We then work with the constituent and Con Ed to figure out what the issue may be,” Addabbo said. “Events like this Con Edison Customer Assistance Day allow our constituents to register to meet directly with a representative from Con Ed right in their own community to answer any questions they may have regarding their account. Not only that, we are also here to celebrate Con Edison’s 200th anniversary.”

He thanked Ariola and Rajkumar for collaborating with him on the event, as well as the utility company for sending representatives into the community to assist their constituents. Con Ed blames its high utility rates on such factors as a rise in oil and gas prices, increased demand, global supply chain issues and the Russia-Ukraine War.

Meanwhile, anxiety is rising across the borough over Con Ed’s proposal to increase rates for gas and electricity for New York utility customers.

“I am committed to doing the people’s work, including ensuring that the energy bills of my constituents are affordable,” Rajkumar said. “Utility bills are one of the most common reasons constituents come to me for help. My office regularly works with Con Edison to resolve billing issues and ensure people keep their lights on. This event will continue our partnership: whatever issues or questions people may have, we will be there to answer them.”

Under the proposed rate hikes, Con Ed customers are facing an increase of $20.90 every month for electricity and $37.88 every month for gas, which translates to around a yearly increase of $705. This is part of a three-year rate increase plan agreed upon Feb. 16 between Con Edison and the Public Service Commission, the state’s arm that oversees gas, electricity and water industries.

“Con Edison takes pride in being responsive and proactive in helping our customers, and this is a great opportunity to show up in the neighborhood with answers and resources,” a spokesperson for Con Edison said.

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