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Schumer seeks review of electric bill increases

ALBANY (AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for an investigation into soaring electricity prices.

The Democrat said Wednesday that he’s urging the Federal Trade Commission to look at whether utility prices have been artificially inflated. Schumer said consumers have complained to his office about monthly bill increases of as much as 100 percent.

Schumer said he’s concerned electric bills seem to be rising faster than the price of natural gas used in many power plants.

National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella said the utility supports a review of the price increases, which it has blamed on high natural gas demand and a long, cold winter on the East Coast.

Stella said National Grid doesn’t mark-up wholesale electricity costs and that it is working to gradually phase-in the increases to assist customers.