Bills, bills, bills: Members understand ConEd and Electrical Bills

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This article is a summary of PSP member deliberation and discussion about ConEd, raises alternatives like Green Mountain and the 2014 increase in electrical costs.

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From the original poster:

 

“While I know energy costs have been rising, esp during the extra cold winter, we are freaked out by our bills lately from ConEd. We live in an 800 sq foot apartment and it has been between $400-$600 (per statement!) the last few months.
This is INSANE. It can't be right, can it? Have your bills jumped this much?
I'd love to get an idea from people in the hood who live in similarly sized apartments that are all electric (no gas) and what your ConEd bills have been looking like. Thanks so much.”

 

Responses:

 

“We are going through the same thing since December - there has to be something wrong with our meter, but con ed flat out refuses to help. We made the switch to Green Mountain Energy last week - hopefully that will be better? We can't afford an electric bill that is higher than our mortgage. Nonsense. [i] was out of town for 2 weeks in December & got an electric bill that was double our most expensive bill ever.” (Feb 2014)

 

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“Apparently bills increased by up to 50%.  Interesting piece explaining the spike on WNYC [HERE].” (Feb 2014)

 

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“While you may have another "supplier", ConEd is still delivering the electricity (they own the infrastructure). Therefore, you will always be paying ConEd. For us, this is the bulk of our charges. I'd continue to fight to have the meter addressed. Many times they are just estimating usage. And in some cases, the meter is actually broken.

Additionally, as everyone knows, electricity can only travel so far. Suppliers like Green Mountain may just be buying energy credits (there are entire financial markets set up to trade these credits) and the power you are getting may not actually be generated using "alternative" means of power generation. Not to mention that every alternative means of power generation is interruptible and in times of peak demand would require the supplier to switch to fast-burning, more expensive and polluting alternatives. (say, it's 100 degrees out!)

I didn't go with someone like Green Mountain because they were not competitively priced. The best deal we got at the time was Direct Energy with ConEd (which is always the case) delivering---at the time. The electric markets work off supply-demand so prices do vary greatly.

You can always see if you can get yourself locked into some sort of mid-term contract--these would have more competitive prices.

All that being said, I would not expect this time of year to be a high demand period (think summer) requiring the power companies to bring "peaker plants" (power plants built for the express purpose of bringing them online fast in times of high demand). So, your kilowatt/hour rate should be a bit lower vs. summer. However, you will always have fixed delivery costs.

Please fight with ConEd to actually read the meter and address any discrepancies. And just to throw it in: make sure that you are being as energy efficient as possible -- something as simple as shrink wrap on windows may save you a ton. Don't heat the entire apartment during the day/night (if possible), etc.” (Feb 2014)

 

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Brian Lehrer did a segment on the Con Ed issue. Seems we should all expect higher bills.  Con Ed should have sent out a preemptive warning to all its customers.” (Feb 2014)

 

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“Interesting article on the subject [via the New York Post HERE].” (Feb 2014)

 

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“Con Ed came around our building in the summer and knocked on all the doors telling everyone there would be a substantial increase to all customers...they told us a percentage but I don't recall what it was.  They didn't really have an explanation for it, just that costs were going up.” (Feb 2014)

 

Related reading on PSP:

Bills, Bills, Bills: Alternatives to Cable (or at least lowering cable bills)