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National Fuel freezing local delivery rates, refunding customers

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office has announced the approval of a joint proposal from the state Public Service Commission, National Fuel, and other state agencies and commissions to freeze delivery rates for National Fuel natural gas customers in Western New York through September 30, 2015.National Fuel will refund $5.5 million to more than 500,000 commercial and household ratepayers. The utility will also provide $2 million to fund home weatherization projects and a furnace replacement program for low-income customers in the Buffalo region.

“This agreement is an outstanding victory for ratepayers in Western New York,” Governor Cuomo said, in a statement. “Our State’s consumers deserve utilities that work with their best interests in mind, and I applaud all parties involved in this agreement for coming together to deliver refunds [and] a rate freeze for residents and businesses in the area.”

The proposal came from an investigation into National Fuel rates last year, which were considered to be too high.

“This agreement is in the best interest of National Fuel customers, who will now enjoy an extended rate freeze, a modest refund, and a renewed commitment by their utility to fix old gas lines. All sides cooperated in reaching these proposals, and I support this positive outcome,” said State Senator George Maziarz, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee.