Con Edison customers in New York are about to feel the squeeze yet again. The Empire State already has some of the highest energy costs in the country, but that hasn’t stopped the public utility giant from successfully lobbying for even more rate increases. And this time they’re not small or negligible, either. On January 16th, the Public Service Commission approved a rate hike of $1.2 billion over the next three years. That means every ConEd customer in the state is going to feel the impact to the tune of a pretty significant increase in their bill every month. And to make all of this more frustrating: this comes in spite of the company’s poor service record and reputation with its customers.
The move has been widely panned by all sorts of advocacy and interest groups. Despite the fact that Public Service Commission chairman John Rhodes insisted that the plan was endorsed with support from environmental groups, large business customers, and municipalities in the region, exponentially more have labeled the decision as greedy and failing to address the state’s problem of unaffordable energy.
Here’s how the new rates break down. For the first year, rates will increase by $113.3 million, or around 3.1% for electricity and around $47.2 million or 6.7% for gas. In 2021 and 2022, the company will hike rates an estimated 3.8% and 3.3%, respectively. To put that into perspective for what it might mean for you, the average customer who consumes around 600 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per month will see their monthly bill rise by around $5.50 this year, plus another 4.7% next year and then another 4% starting in January 2022. For their gas bill, they should see an increase of more than $11 this year, more than $14 the following year, and then almost another $13 the year after.
Westchester residents will feel this increase even more due to higher electricity demands. In short, the more you spend on energy, the greater the squeeze you’re going to feel. Commercial customers, in particular, are going to see the biggest rate hike, as they use some of the largest quantities of electricity of all customers every month. As such, they will likely see a huge jump in their overhead costs over the next few years that will no doubt increase stress on already shrinking margins.
Taking Control of Your Electricity
This news of rate hikes is no doubt frustrating for all types of electricity customers. Electricity costs in New York are already exceedingly high, and Con Edison’s reliability has been sub-par for years. This came to a head just this past year as a huge blackout struck Midtown Manhattan, darkening even a good chunk of world-famous Times Square. The company also shut off power to several Brooklyn neighborhoods during a heatwave last year, resulting in thousands of customers going without electricity. At one point, Governor Cuomo even threatened to revoke their utility provider’s license.
However, you don’t have to settle for being subject to this instability and energy costs that continue to spiral out of control. Instead, you can take command of your energy by switching to solar. Those who rely on a solar energy system to generate the majority of the energy they use have much greater flexibility and control over their energy costs each and every month. Because they use so little power from the grid and public utility providers, these customers will likely feel almost no impact whatsoever from these rate increases over the next few years, aside from maybe a few marginal increases during peak consumption months.
Those who rely on solar also enjoy a more stable power supply that’s free from many of the problems of big public utility grids. Whereas public utility grids are prone to shutdowns, blackouts, and other issues that New York has seen too much of over the last year, those with solar energy systems, battery backups, and smart inverters that can separate off from the main grid can keep their power on, devices running, and go about their life as usual while the power around them remains down.
And on top of all of this, you’ll actually see significant savings over your energy costs. This decision is actually great for those who are considering switching to solar because it makes your investment even more lucrative. With energy in New York set to become even more expensive, the amount of savings you’ll see every month will increase even further, thus shrinking the payoff period to even smaller levels. New York and New Jersey already enjoy some of the shortest solar payoff periods in the country, and this move only shrinks that amount of time even further. What would you do with hundreds of extra dollars in your pocket every month? With solar energy, you’ll be able to enjoy just that.
Tired of rate increases sucking your wallet dry? Switch to solar and do away with the stress! Call SunPower by Sea Bright Solar at (732) 253-4052 now to request more information about making the switch.