NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Con Edison customers in New York will likely see their gas and electric bills go up.
New Yorkers are growling mad at news that Con Ed, which already boasts the highest electricity rates charged by any major utility in the continental United States, is going to sock it to customers again, raising the cost of electricity and gas for the next three years.
Under the plan, typical residents’ electric bills would go up about 4% each year. Gas bills would jump even more, increasing more than 7% each year.
For example, if you live in a New York City apartment and use 300 kilowatt hours a month, you bill will jump to $76.43 in 2020, $79.73 in 2021 and $82.86 in 2022.
Con Ed says the rate hike will enable the company to upgrade its system and hopefully prevent blackouts like the Manhattan outage that left 72,000 people in the dark last summer.
“New York needs it,” Con Ed spokesman Phillip O’Brien said. “The rate hike would enable $3 billion a year to go into gas and electric infrastructure investments that then would continue to produce safe and reliable service.”
O’Brien says property taxes are the biggest reason for the increase.
Just how high are Con Ed’s rates?
Last year, Con Ed charged residential customers 26.36 cents for a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to power a 100-watt bulb for an hour.
The average rate nationwide is 13.31 cents.
Con Ed is the only supplier of electricity in New York and Westchester. It also supplies gas in Manhattan, the Bronx, parts of Queens and most of Westchester.
Gas rates are expected to go up even more than electric bills.
It will cost $163.73 for 100 therms of gas next year.
New Yorkers who spoke to CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step in, but it’s unclear what he can do.
State officials have already slashed Con Ed’s rate request by $1.4 billion.
A Cuomo spokesman says he will not allow the company to “line shareholders’ pockets at the expense of everyday New Yorkers.”
Public hearings will be held Wednesday in Manhattan and Yonkers.
The New York Public Service Commission appears poised approve the plan in January.
Con Ed says customers should follow these tips to lower their home energy bills:
- Lower your thermostat – Each degree over 68 can increase your energy usage by 3%.
- Consider a cold wash – Switching your temperature setting from hot to cold can cut energy use in half for washing one load.
- Upgrade your heating equipment – If you got your more than 10 years ago, you could save with an energy-efficient upgrade.
- Keep ducts and vents clean – Your heating system will run more efficiently, and it might last longer.
- Swap out your shades seasonally – Light-colored window coverings reflect the sun’s energy, while darker ones absorb it and release heat.
- Take showers instead of baths – Showers use half as much water as baths. Less hot water means less energy used.