Troubleshooting

Why many New Yorkers are facing higher ConEd bills this month

By Austin Havens-Bowen | February 15, 2022 - 9:30AM 

Need assistance with your energy bill? New York's Home Energy Assistance Program covers heating costs for qualified residents and ConEd offers payment plans and extensions.

Austin Havens-Bowen for Brick Underground/Flickr

Many New Yorkers opened their ConEd statements to a big surprise this month: Their January energy bills were substantially higher than December—customers say their expenses doubled or even tripled. 

So what exactly is causing these surging bills? It seems to be a combination of rising energy costs and colder temperatures, which are reflected in the most recent billing statements. And while it come as a surprise to some, ConEd warned customers in November to prepare for higher bills through March 2022.

Still it's a shock for most customers. One shared their frustration on a recent New York City Reddit thread saying their bill went from $160 in December to over $400 in January. Their rate went from 6 cents per kWH to 19 cents per kWh according to the post. Dozens of New Yorkers commented in the thread to say they had seen similar increases. 

What's causing the increase? 

ConEd emailed a letter to customers last Friday that claims the utility is not to blame for the price surges, Bloomberg reports. The Manhattan-based energy company says colder weather and the higher cost of gas led to the spike. The email states the company buys power on the wholesale market and delivers it at the same price without profit.

According to the article, the cost of gas, which is the source of energy in the region, has tripled from a year ago. And January’s temperatures were about four-and-a-half degrees colder than usual, also driving up gas consumption.

Here's how to get help 

In response to the surge in prices, Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday urged the company to review its billing practices to provide relief to New Yorkers during an already challenging time, Gothamist reports. Hochul also reminded New Yorkers that programs like the Home Energy Assistance Program covers heating costs for qualified residents.

ConEd also offers financial assistance through payment plans and extensions. You can call, chat, or email with their customer service to figure out the best option for you, the company says.

 

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