A new decision from the federal government could lead electricity rates in New York to rise by as much as $500 million, My Fox New York reports.

According to the media outlet, Senator Chuck Schumer recently spoke to a group of community leaders on the steps of a Con Edison facility, where he urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) to take another look at the proposed policy to exclude lower-cost power plants from selling electricity in New York and use older, less efficient generating plants.

If the current decision is upheld, electricity rates could potentially rise substantially, he said.

"In these tough economic times, the last thing hard working New York homeowners and small businesses need is another unnecessary increase in their electricity bills. We should be unfurling the welcome mat if a new power producer wants to provide affordable electricity to New York residents, not throwing up obstacles in their way as FERC has done with its unsound decision," said Schumer.

Luckily, New York residents have been able to shop around for the best electricity rates in the state since 1996, when deregulation was passed.