The New York Public Service Commission approved a one year $425 million rate increase for Consolidated Edison on March 19. Con Ed originally requested a $1.2 billion increase. This will translate into a $4.25 increase in the average NYC monthly bill ($5.60 for Westchester County) starting in April. Although ratepayers hate rate increases, and New Yorkers have the highest rates in the country, they are necessary to pay for improvements in the distribution network and to cope with the steady growth of the New York metropolitan region. The average NYC residential customer pays about $70 a month for electricity.