In general I do not support any rate crease, especially one with such a large percentage, even if it is spread out due to deferring long term debt collections.
I would like to strongly recommend something that could help decrease this rate increase while increasing overall revenue for National Grid. With the first Electric Vehicle available in New York state this month (the Chevy Volt) and many more coming in the next calendar year, this is a great opportunity to implement an electric vehicle time-of-use rate. This idea is that a separate meter could be installed on customer's houses that would provide a substantially lower rate for an electric vehicle charge station in the garage (and only that charge station), and during the night-time hours only when there is excess grid capacity and power generating capacity available.
While at first it seems as if a lower rate would provide less revenue, one needs to look a bit further. Electric vehicles currently don't exist on the grid, as they aren't available to residents yet, with the exception of the Chevy Volt that just arrived. By implementing a low rate, a couple things are achieved:
1) A lower EV night-time rate at night helps ensure the grid doesn't receive greater demand at peak-times, causing brown-outs, etc.
2) A lower EV night-time rate helps lower the cost of electric vehicle operating costs, further encouraging their adoption, using less gasoline and foreign oil.
3) A lower EV night-time rate effectively results in more electricity being used at times when the grid is able to provide it, causing national grid to be able to increase revenue by gaining new market share and electricity consumption on an area that, to date, has not been in existence in NY state.
The ability to further reduce costs for an environmentally friendly technology (also much lower cost than using gasoline) and increase overall revenue for National Grid and suppliers of electricity, can all be achieved while ensuring further electrical demand from electric vehicles doesn't stress the grid (and actually makes the grid more efficient) by encouraging night time charging through lower rates. This is done in California, for example: http://www.pge.com/tariffs/tm2/pdf/ELEC_SCHEDS_E-9.pdf
This synergy can also help reduce the need to increase rates by such a large percentage. Please consider making electric vehicle (EV)/plug in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) time-of-use charging rates part this plan to increase revenue and offset the need for increased rates.