The unusually cold temperatures means some Con Ed customers are paying an average of 15 to 20 percent more this year than last to heat their homes and keep the lights on.
About 8,500 workers have been off the job for 17 days after being locked out by the utility.
Union spokesman John Melia said that negotiations between the power company and Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers of America lasted just over 10 days. The contract expired at midnight on Saturday.
The triple-digit scorcher that taxed the electrical grid and made life uncomfortable in the Tri-state area is finally expected to simmer down somewhat on Sunday.