(Bloomberg) -- Consolidated Edison Inc., which plunged Manhattan into darkness last summer and banned natural gas hookups in Westchester County, is now raising rates.

New York regulators on Thursday approved the utility’s request to increase gas and electric rates annually through 2022. Average monthly gas bills will increase 7.5% in 2020, while electric bills will go up 4.2%. Similar-size hikes will follow over the next two years.

Protesters decried the decision by the state’s Public Service Commission during a meeting in Albany. But regulators including chairman John Rhodes said the increases are necessary to allow ConEd to continue upgrading its aging systems. The increase is 75% lower than what the company initially requested, the commission said in a statement.

ConEd’s shares rose as much as 0.4%.

The utility, which serves over 4.5 million customers, was under fire in July after its equipment failed on the West Side of Manhattan, leaving more than 70,000 customers without power and paralyzing much of the subway system. It also raised widespread ire north of the city in Westchester County by instating a moratorium on gas hookups, stalling construction of thousands of homes.

The increase calls for ConEd to spend $700 million over the next three years on energy-efficiency programs “that are some of the most cost-effective ways for customers to reduce bills,” the company said in a statement.

Read More: NYC Mayor Suggests ConEd Takeover After Heat Forces Shutdown

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To contact the reporter on this story: Gerson Freitas Jr. in New York at gfreitasjr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at ldoan6@bloomberg.net, Joe Ryan, Christine Buurma

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