Electricity costs are rising nationwide, and New York State is among those hit the hardest by this harsh new reality.
It's an additional financial burden to any home, but in a state that already boasts some of the highest rent prices in the world, this addition to monthly bills, well, it can be extra tough! And it's left many consumers seeking answers to help better understand what exactly is happening — and what they can do to try and save money and energy this summer.
Luckily, that's where this blog post can help. Let's start by breaking down the factors at play in New York's rising electricity costs.
To understand why your electricity bill is so expensive in New York, we need to rewind a little and go back to the basics.
In New York State, Con Edison is responsible for powering all of New York City's and Westchester County's homes — providing energy to roughly half of New York's total population.
Back in 2020, Con Edison announced that they would be raising their electricity rates. These increases focused on improving infrastructure (like the availability of public electric vehicle chargers), and they meant that most electricity customers were looking at a 5.7-5.8% increase on their monthly electricelectrical bill.
For context, this means an $80.00 monthly bill would now cost roughly $84.64 — and while it may not seem like much, it's a difference of over $50.00 annually. Over time, those costs can really add up!
Fast-forward to June 1, 2023, and it feels like repeating history as Con Edison prepares to raise their electricity rates once again.
This time, however, the increases, which have been agreed upon by the New York State Public Service Commission, are more significant, resulting in a roughly 12% increase for electricity customers over the next three years. For consumers, that could mean an additional monthly cost of $20.90 or over $250.00 a year — yikes!
These increases will go towards financing upgrades to the company's electricity delivery system, funding renewable energy plans and improving overall infrastructure. All good things, but the cost to consumers is significant!
Unfortunately, the other reality is that New York summers are only getting hotter, which means reliance on air conditioning is only expected to grow. So how do you keep cool and comfortable this summer without breaking the bank on expensive New York electricity bills? We have a few tips that might help.
You might not be able to do anything about rising electricity rates, but you can do plenty of things to adjust your home and your habits, making it easier to save money and energy!
Consider making the following cost-effective upgrades to your living space:
It's a simple (and cheap) way to close off air leaks, helping to insulate your space better — and it's generally renter-friendly!
As a general rule of thumb, the closer your home's temperature is to the temperature outside, the easier it is for your home's heating and cooling system to do its job. Consider keeping your space a little warmer in the summer (and cooler in the winter) to help save on energy. And don't forget to adjust for summer weekends away — there's no need to keep the A/C on blast when you're not home to enjoy it!
Did you know that many of your home's devices consume electricity even when sitting in standby mode? It's true! And devices like televisions, computers, coffee machines, toasters and other everyday kitchen appliances can be major culprits. Consider unplugging these devices completely when they're not in use to save on wasted electricity — or connect them to a smart plug so you can disconnect them when you're away from home and on the go.
You may also want to pay attention to peak usage times! In New York City, peak usage times are between 8:00 am and midnight daily, and shifting some of your usage to off-peak hours can significantly impact your monthly electricity bill.
To give you some context, between June 1 and September 30, it can cost as much as 25.5 cents per kWh to power your home in New York City during peak times, but during off-peak hours that number decreases significantly, coming in at only 1.8 cents per kWh!
By simply shifting the usage of some of your home's most prominent energy-hogging devices, *cough cough* looking at you, dishwasher and laundry machine, you can help avoid ramping up unnecessary peak usage costs on your electricity bill.
Plus, with OhmConnect, you can also get rewarded for powering down during peak hours, and it's all thanks to a system called Demand Response. Here's how it works.
When the grid gets overloaded with more usage than anticipated — like during a summer heatwave when everyone turns their A/C's up — providers like Con Edison must rely on additional power plants, called peaking plants, to help make sure they can meet demand. Unfortunately, these plants are worse for the environment and more expensive to run than normal power plants, making them bad for the planet *and* our wallets. This is where Demand Response kicks in.
Rather than turning on the additional power plants, Demand Response focuses on reducing strain on the grid by encouraging consumers to power down and reduce their consumption — and at OhmConnect, it's kind of our thing.
As a member of OhmConnect's free energy-saving program, you'll receive a text or email during peak times when demand is high, empowering you with the know-how to know when to power down your devices and save.
OhmConnect then takes the energy you save and sells it back to the grid, sharing those profits with you! You'll earn points that can be traded in for cash, prizes, gift cards and more. It's savings on your monthly bill by reducing your consumption and an added bonus of additional money right back in your wallet! Need we say more?
If you're not already a member, sign-up today! It's easy and free to get started — plus, you can earn bonus rewards by referring a friend who may also be looking to save this summer. Click here for all the details.