Consolidated Edison Co. (Con Ed) had good news for some of its customers on Thursday as it’s recently grappled with how to handle natural gas supply shortages in parts of New York, announcing that electricity bills would be lower this summer.
A typical New York City residential customer using 350 kWh/month can expect a 6.5% decrease from $102.84 in 2018 to $96.20 between June and September. Residential customers in suburbs to the north of the city in Westchester County using 500 kWh/ month can expect an average decrease of 16.2% from $134.68 in 2018 to $112.88 during the summer months.
The projected decrease in residential bills is largely because of lower supply costs, Con Ed said. Despite the state’s broader goals to aggressively transition to a “clean energy” economy, the New York Independent System Operator relies on natural gas, oil and coal for more than 60% of its generating capacity and 39% of its production.
Parts of the state, particularly New York City and the surrounding area, are facing natural gas supply shortages as regulators have denied approving a series of gas pipelines, but it hasn’t affected electricity service. Con Ed has already announced a moratorium on new gas hookups in Westchester County and warned of others in the city. National Grid is also inching closer to a moratorium after the state recently denied a water quality certification for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project.
However, bills are going down or staying flat for Con Ed’s electricity customers. Monthly bills for businesses are expected to be about the same as last year. A New York City business customer using 10,800 kWh with a peak demand of 31 kW can expect average monthly summer bills to increase slightly from to $2,201.92 from $2,156.55 in 2018.
The utility, which delivers electricity, natural gas and steam to 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, expects peak demand for power to reach 13,270 MW this summer. The all-time record was 13,322 MW in July 2013.
At roughly 15 cents/kWh, New York state has some of the highest electricity prices in the country, according to 2017 data from the Energy Information Administration.
Con Ed is working to decrease demand for gas with efficiency programs and new technologies. The company is also expanding new and evolving technologies such as battery storage. In separate projects, batteries are in place in Westchester, the Bronx and Queens to support the grid on sweltering summer days.
“We strive to lead the transition to the clean energy future that our customers want and that new technology makes possible,” said President Tim Cawley. “In addition to developing battery storage and installing smart meters, we’re making it easier for our customers to choose energy efficiency, solar and other products and services that can help reduce monthly bills and provide a cleaner environment.”