The Mohawk Municipal Commission is governed by the New York State Public Service Commission; they approve all the rates and charges the Commission is allowed to charge its customers. The State of New York created an agency to control the State’s energy grid called the Independent System Operator (ISO). The ISO oversees the grid with a governing council. The ISO decision about the grid effects the power adjustment that you see on your bill.
Our customers have had a lot of concerns and questions regarding the Power Adjustment on your bill. The power adjustment is the variable piece of your bill which is not built into the base rates of the electric department. Our bill has three components: Niagara Mohawk Wheeling Charges, New York Power Authority Firm Hydro Power, & New York Municipal Power Association Open Market Energy Purchasing. The bill the Commission receives from the NYPA is for firm power purchases that are generated from renewable hydro energy. The National Grid bill the Commission receives is a charge we pay for the use of National Grid’s lines that deliver energy to our substation to distribute power to our customers. The NYMPA bill the Commission pays is for purchasing power on the open market in a block of power that is above the amount of our power contract that NYPA provides for our customers. The NYMPA bill is exposed to market pressures such as congestion, line losses, and insurance which results in higher costs to you the consumers. During the winter heating season the power adjustment were quite high, the reason for these large power adjustments mainly stemmed from things that were out of our control. The ISO allowed the shutting down of 345kV transmission facilities throughout the state for maintenance and repairs which caused congestion of electric lines running west and east in the state.
The Commission belongs to the Municipal Electric Utilities Association and the New York Municipal Power Association who sit on the ISO council. These two groups attorney’s are fighting to reduce the power adjustment in the future. One example of that is trying to make the ISO to schedule substation maintenance on the grid on a non heating season schedule.