Con Edison critics want the utilities giant to dial down the jack in rates it proposed last week.
The company last week said it needs to bring in $368 million from consumers. A residence that uses 300-kilowatts a month would see a 4.7% increase in their bill, according to ConEd.
"Given the recent declines in oil and natural gas prices it is hard to understand why Con Edison is choosing now to raise electricity rates," said Public Advocate Letitia James, who called on the company to hold off on the increase set to zap consumers in 2016.
Con Edison defended the hike, its first since April 2012, to pull in money that will go toward security, protecting the system for reliable service during storms and creating a better website.
"This plan will adequately fund investment for the enhanced security, reliability and resiliency of the electric delivery system," Con Edison President Craig Ivey said in a statement last week.
Bill Ferris of AARP, which wants New York to adopt a utility consumer advocate like 40 other states have done, said a recent poll shows that 69% of the city's over-50 population is concerned about paying their electricity bills in the future.
"They're asking for a rate increase on top of a rate that's already double the national average for electricity," Ferris said. "And we don't think it's the right time to ask for an increase."
State Sen. Mike Gianaris, of Astoria, called on the state Public Service Commission, the regulator that must approve a rate hike, to reject ConEd's request.
"The cost of living in our city is rising and it's disappointing that ConEd wants to make it harder for people to keep the lights on," Gianaris said.