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National Grid 'confident' it can address New York governor's concerns

The UK company, which distributes gas to businesses and homes in New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, announced in May that it would stop processing applications for new gas customers in downstate areas of the city.

Article originally published by The Financial Times. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

National Grid has said it is “confident” it will be able to “address satisfactorily” issues raised in a letter by the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, earlier this week in which he warned the British utility that it could be stripped of its licence to operate in southern parts of the US city if it doesn’t solve a months-long dispute over gas supplies.

The UK company, which distributes gas to businesses and homes in New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, announced in May that it would stop processing applications for new gas customers in downstate areas of the city, including Brooklyn, Queens and parts of Long Island, after the Cuomo administration rejected a permit for a $1bn gas supply pipeline project.

The decision has led to an increasingly testy dispute with Mr Cuomo, who on Tuesday gave the company 14 days to resolve the problems or warned he would revoke its certificate to operate downstate.

In its half year financial results released on Thursday, National Grid said it recognised the “hardship” the moratorium on new connections had caused but said it identified a decade ago that new gas supplies would be needed to meet growth in the city.

“Since then, we have been executing a long-term and comprehensive supply plan and delivering on a number of upgrades and new projects,” the company said, adding that the $1bn pipeline was the “final piece” of this series of projects.

National Grid

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The New York Public Service Commission has ordered National Grid to connect around 1,100 accounts and the company said it has implemented an “innovative plan” to allow these customers to be hooked up. The plan includes expanding energy efficiency programmes, National Grid said, adding that it would “continue to work hard with all parties to find a long-term solution”.

“We are confident that we will be able to address satisfactorily the issues raised by the Governor of New York in his recent letter to National Grid,” the company said in its results statement.

National Grid has found itself in the political spotlight on both sides of the Atlantic this year, following a blackout that affected parts of England and Wales in August, which has led to inquiries both by the UK government and Britain’s energy market regulator.

The company, which owns grid infrastructure in the UK and is responsible for managing Britain’s electricity system, is also in the sights of the opposition Labour party, which has pledged to renationalise energy networks if it gains power.

National Grid made a fleeting reference to the UK political situation in its results, saying: “We will continue to contribute to the important regulatory and political debate in the UK and the US recognising the continued focus on customer affordability, decarbonisation and safety across our networks.”


This article was written by Nathalie Thomas from The Financial Times and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Article originally published by The Financial Times. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

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