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Con Ed Bills Spike, Shock Consumers

The colder-than-usual temperatures this winter have led to higher-than-expected bills from Con Ed, and customers are freaked out. 

"We've lived in Sleepy Hollow for 2 years and our bill has been between 6-9 cents per kwh and then suddenly this last bill jumped up to 17.9 cents per kwh," said one Facebook commenter. "We rent an apartment, I don't even want to think what a bill for a whole house would be."

"We all are accustomed to our Con Ed bills going up to some extent, but something is going on that isn't even approaching 'right,'" said Jeane Pedro. "People are posting about their new Con Ed bills that have doubled since last month, some going over $1000." 

Unfortunately the bills aren't a mistake. 

Con Ed spokesman Allan Drury said the exceptionally cold winter weather caused the price of natural gas to rise.

"That has impacted not only customers’ natural gas bills but also their electric bills (since natural gas is used in the generation of much of the electricity in the area)," he said. "Con Edison does not make a profit on the natural gas or electricity. We buy the energy on the market and deliver it to customers at cost. When the price rises, customers pay more. When the price drops, customers benefit."

Con Ed is encouraging customers to consider level-payment plans to smooth out their bills. Level-payment plans and other aspects of the recent bills increases are explained here.

Calls are coming in from upset customers, said State Sen. Greg Ball (R-Putnam).

“A 100% increase is absolutely unbearable for senior citizen on a fixed income struggling to stay in their homes,” Ball said. “Let it be clear, I am glad to hear that Con Edison has made a good faith effort to allow customers to spread their energy costs out over a 12 month period, yet these sky-high energy bills are unbelievable.”


What's your experience with energy bills this winter?

Vegas February 26, 2014 at 04:13 PM
Thank you, liberals!
New York Patriot February 26, 2014 at 05:54 PM
Jean: They can be. Ambit Energy sends a statement once a year to estimate your savings.
tom February 26, 2014 at 08:22 PM
Liberals run the state so what do you expect?
New York Patriot February 26, 2014 at 11:09 PM
Not for long, Tom. Not that Astorino is a raging Conservative. But at least Comrade Cuomo will be dismissed (hopefully back to the private sector). Cuomo, as you know, made his biggest mess at HUD where he is responsible in large part for the lending practices that led to the housing bubble and ensuing real estate crisis that took our entire economy down.
New York Patriot February 27, 2014 at 07:21 AM
JM: I just read your comment. As you can see from my earlier comment, I am with you that the prices for energy (and other commodities) are not set by natural, capitalist-based, supply and demand economics but rather by greedy traders in commodity trading pits and on commodity trading desks. However, I must take issue with your comment when you lump ALL capitalists in with these greedy, market-altering traders. Perhaps they are on the capitalist spectrum but most capitalists reject them and their manipulative, greedy ways. Further, I must take issue with your notion that these traders are all men. Back a few decades ago you may have been correct. But that is not the case any more. There are surely still more men than women on trading desks and in trading pits but I think your comment there may have been a little extreme. Aside from those points, we appear to be quite like-minded.
tom February 27, 2014 at 07:37 AM
NYP, while I like your optimism about Astorino, if he even sniffs Cuomo in the polls, the NYTimes, Times-Union, and LoHud will all come down on him like a ton of bricks. They will trot out tired clichés like the war on women and the poor and run articles every day on those subjects. Cuomo will win re-election. And NY will continue to be the worst state in the Union for starting businesses, your ConEd bills will be out of control, and by the way, please pay $15.00 to cross the Tap.
Jeff February 27, 2014 at 07:39 AM
This is yet another reason why solar energy is the way to go. I am biased, I sell solar, but you'd be shocked to learn you can OWN (not a 20 year lease) the system and I can show you how to pay for it with the savings from your Con Ed bill. Every house is different and requires a consultation to learn the environmental and financial benefits for your particular situation. Naturally, there's no pressure. The numbers speak for themselves! I can be reached at: jkornfeld@harvestpower.net
Lawrence Blake February 27, 2014 at 08:21 AM
Give us clean energy... Coal, Oil & Gas Fracking, the Keystone Pipeline and at least the supply side will ease...but we are all brain dead and keep re-electing the same confiscators time after time after time...and then we act like sheeple..look how ez it was for them to get us used to 3.60-4.00 gas..no one even notices anymore...7.00-12.00 bridge tolls and a million other hidden & confiscatory taxes, fees, surcharges, collapsing healthcare/foreign policy/employment nightmares..ugh..this is the inevitable result of decades of brainwashing our children by so-called "liberal" educators ..as we slip and slide into statism and tyranny...we'll keep electing the same dems and repubs and become a second rate former republic where the individual and liberty are an afterthought..once a tax always a tax..
John Anderson February 27, 2014 at 08:28 AM
3,000 + square foot homes don't help.
FJT February 27, 2014 at 09:41 AM
Connecticut Light & Power is no different than ConEd. One has to buy the power from them, but you can choose from a number of distributors in an attempt to lower your bill. When you look at what the distributors charge, they're all in the same ballpark. So, in the end, you just have the ILLUSION OF CHOICE. Each distributor knows what their competition is charging, and so they all sell their distribution services for about the same price. Is this what's known as price fixing? I think so. The US is known as the Saudi Arabia of coal, but notice how we're prevented from tapping into that abundant God-given resource. Techology has allowed us to have "clean coal", but the coal companies have been pretty much destroyed in the US, kind of like the middle class is being destroyed.
Don February 27, 2014 at 02:00 PM
First, natural gas is bought and sold in a market that guarantees decent supplies are available, that prices rise is a fact of economic reality, they also fall. That this was a very, very cold stretch since October (Hey! Where's that globe-Al-Gore-warming when you need some?) should have prepared folks for high bills. Set back thermostats that you actually use (ConEd provides them to some free of charge in fact), or buy one. Second, taxes that are passed through area also a problem. On my recent bill that totaled $113 for the natural gas portion (thermostat at 64˚ all season long, sweaters are a good thing) taxes are over $9, a direct tax on consumers. This includes a 3% New York State sales tax. Yes, you pay a 3% sales tax on both natural gas and electricity. Plus GRT and other surcharges on both the supply and delivery side. As well as the SBC tax. Throw in over $5 total taxes on the electric portion of $71 for a total direct tax on a bill under $200 of more than $14. Higher usage for you? Pay more direct taxes as well. The state of New York is a leech that sucks ConEd blood and consumers blood. We saw how much worse it was on Long Island with a utility that is basically state run, which the joke that is Andrew Cuomo temporarily forgot about (it was his awful father who had perpetrated that nugget). Bottom line, turning to government for help is so foolish. Obamacare anyone?
joshua tanner February 27, 2014 at 04:50 PM
"3,000 + square foot homes don't help. "_______Nor does allowing hundreds of thousands of people to break in and overcrowd those houses illegally
Barbara February 27, 2014 at 05:06 PM
I was told that Con Ed buys electric like a commodity, you know like gasoline. I have never had my price double in a month at the gas pump, have you? Why do people with New York State Gas & Electric pay so much less. Don't they buy on the commodity market too? Con Ed needs some better buyers. January was a very cold month and I used 1711 kWhs in December and 2001 kWhs in January but my bill went from $382.19 to $607.25. Something is wrong with this picture. I live in an all electric in 1000 sq. ft. apartment. Also, why is the delivery charges so high? There was an outage near me recently that required 6 workers all day to fix--well I mean 2 or 3 workers and the rest pointers.
Pearl Kay February 27, 2014 at 05:07 PM
Look at all the taxes and surcharges and hidden NYS taxes...among highest in nation. Also, Westchester County rates are averaged with NYC where we share their cost of underground utilities. True. Utilites are a wet nurse to NY government. Me, I blame Global Warming
tom February 27, 2014 at 05:22 PM
Pearl, it's not called "global warming" anymore now that it didn't warm according the models. It's called "climate change." Blame climate change, coal companies, 3,000 sq feet houses, just don't blame the liberals who run this state (and want to close IP among other things).
Jeanne February 27, 2014 at 08:13 PM
Why is this turning into a ridiculous back and forth about politics, slamming liberals and mentioning Obamacare??? I thought this was a discussion about Con Ed rates.
jo February 28, 2014 at 07:48 AM
not one word from our elected ones.. fine with them that Westchester is no longer a place where the middle class can live..hey Nita.. and the rest of you who have made it your life's work to be some kind of politician, where is your voice on this.. WE CAN'T HEAR YOU.. SAME FOR YOU CUOMO..ok to give New businesses a ten year grace period on paying taxes..but for the rest of us.. we just have to grin and bear it..
jo February 28, 2014 at 07:51 AM
lol..one more thing.. the liberal mantra here in N. Westchester is to shut down Indian Point.. libs must have deep pockets.. I now they have hypocritical tongues
FJT February 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM
One big problem involves the "revolving door". Those whom we elect to represent us often have their eyes on a lucrative private industry job after they resign or are thrown out of office. As a result, they are often missing in action when it comes to weighing in on debacles such as the one we're discussing here. We're on our own, regardless of which party is in power.
New York Patriot February 28, 2014 at 01:27 PM
Jeanne: While your comment is precious as it displays your absolute political ignorance and lack of political awareness, it explains why we are knee deep in this. So many like you ignorantly bleating away in pens. Baaa....Baaa.... Too many sheeple in the Country couldn't tell Left from Right, Liberal from Conservative, Democrat from Republican. And these sheeple go bleating top the polls once a year and elect the guy or gal with the best sales pitch or the best hair or the best smile or the most toys in his sack (Santa reference).
Jeanne February 28, 2014 at 01:33 PM
And you, New York Patriot, are showing your true colors as a pompous, self-important excuse for a bully. Are you gonna beat me up in the parking lot after school? "Precious"???? Please. Do not make assumptions about anyone you do not know, and insulting me just shows your massive lack of class.
Jeanne February 28, 2014 at 01:41 PM
PS New York Patriot, if I were voting for the candidate with the bests hair, I would have been on the road campaigning for Sarah Palin, who would have won that category, hands down. Thankfully, I am way more intelligent that you seem to think.
New York Patriot February 28, 2014 at 01:41 PM
I show my true colors as a Conservative and as one who takes pride in being politically aware. Why would you accuse me of being a bully or threatening you? I just pointed out the obvious. You butted in to a conversation thread where everyone else seems to understand the political overtones but you. I just pointed out that you are politically tone-deaf and used your post as a platform to a wider discussion about how many Americans are like you. Don't worry Jeanne, you are safe to get on your bus after school.
Jeff February 28, 2014 at 01:46 PM
Can we have a discussion without attacking each other? So now that everyone has voiced their dissatisfaction (with Con Ed and the obscene bills), what are you going to do about it?? Short of moving, your only options are alternative energy sources such as solar power which can be bought and paid for from the savings from your Con Ed bill. If you're a homeowner please contact me at: jkornfeld@harvestpower.net to learn more.
Jeanne February 28, 2014 at 01:55 PM
Thank you, I agree, Jeff. There is no need for attacks and bullying here. Why every discussion needs to turn into a political rant is beyond me, and this is not the first time I have seen this happen, from the same person. Patch should be keeping an eye on this sort of thing. People are free to start their own blogs and let their voices be heard. Hopefully the problems with Con Ed will be straightened out, as they did get faulty readings for many people. And hopefully people are now more aware that there are alternatives, and will consider them. THAT is what this discussion should be about.
New York Patriot February 28, 2014 at 02:02 PM
It is also distasteful to have a solar salesman so blatantly try to use the discussion platform to gin up sales leads. Odd though because few of the commenters seem to be of the Liberal persuasion who might be open to the overtures of a solar salesman. Anyway, it is great to see that Jeanne has made friends with Jeff.
Jeanne February 28, 2014 at 02:23 PM
New York Patriot, this issue actually started as a thread on a local facebook post. There were several people working for energy companies who posted their information. Whether you or I fell it is tasteful or not, people do what they feel they need to in order to promote their livelihood. We are grownups. We can act on it or ignore it. Like everything else we read.
New York Patriot February 28, 2014 at 02:51 PM
Yes, I suppose we do have a dichotomy. On the one hand we have a bunch of Liberals flapping away about global warming or climate change or whatever the in-vogue term is as well as alternative energy. These folks are yakking it up with the folks trying to sell something - ie. The ESCO multi-level marketing folks and the solar and alternative energy sales people. On the other hand, you have a bunch of folks, myself included, who are more politically aware and are discussing a highly regulated business (the futures exchanges as well as the energy providers) in the context of what our Liberal leaders are or are not doing about it and, from a political ideology standpoint how we got in this mess. Congratulations on being a grown up.
Krista Madsen March 01, 2014 at 09:11 AM
Natural gas prices peaked this season at 10x what they were at same time last year! The channels to move the gas demand is "simply not there." Good explanation on pricing this season you can listen to on WNYC. https://www.wnyc.org/radio/#/ondemand/351788
JM March 01, 2014 at 09:51 AM
Hey all - for what it is worth, my ConEd bill (electric + gas) is actually lower than it was the previous month. No complaints from me but I was prepared for the worst after this price hike news has been circulating all week. Jan. was $459, Feb. $368. Others here must also have equal or lower, no?

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