Con Edison Must Be Confronted for Ripping Off NYers on Their Energy Needs - The Jewish Voice
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Monday, November 28, 2022

Con Edison Must Be Confronted for Ripping Off NYers on Their Energy Needs

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Seems like New York consumers are pretty rankled over the fact that their monthly utility bills have skyrocketed in the last month. Many have seen their bills double, triple and even quadruple. As such, they have contacted their elected officials with requests to confront the sheet enormity of the bills with Con Edison.

For its part, Con Edison has claimed that the increase comes down to rising costs for natural gas, which is used to create electricity in the utility’s plants.

“Con Edison does not make a profit on the commodity,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We buy the energy on the wholesale market and provide it to customers at the same price we paid. Energy prices are volatile and can be affected by factors such as weather, demand, and economic trends.”

ConEd, which supplies electricity, natural gas, and steam to 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, will ask customers to pay more so that it could use an additional $1.2 billion in revenue to upgrade its electric delivery system and $500 million more to improve its gas distribution.

ConEd says it plans to invest in renewable energy, including electric vehicles and clean heat that will reduce its carbon footprint by 2.4 million metric tons over the next three years.

But the tragic fact remains that New Yorkers are paying twice as much as the rest of the nation for their energy needs.

In a letter penned on February 8th to Timothy Cawley, the Chairman, President & CEO of Con Edison, Long Island Rep, Tom Suozzi (D) said: “New Yorkers already have some of the most expensive electric and gas bills in the nation. In November, ConEd projected that New Yorkers would pay $66 more a month, a 24% increase to $341 a month, between November 2021 to March 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported in November that New York area households’ electric bills were 47.8% higher, compared to the national average, and ranged between 44.8% and 48.1% more over the past five years. New Yorkers also paid 14% more for natural gas in November and between 12.6% to 20.2% more over the previous five years. Asking my constituents to swallow a dramatic single year increase to their electric and gas bill is unreasonable when they already pay nearly 50% more than the average US household.”

Suozzi also said that ConEd “reports annual profits of $1 billion plus following previous rate increases.”

Many New Yorkers took to Twitter to complain directly to @ConEdison about the massive monthly hike. And let’s not forget that these bills are compounded with existing bills as well as pandemic-related financial hardships.

According to a February 9th article on theCity.nyc website, Con Ed recently raised rates influencing the delivery charges of energy. “In 2020, the state Public Service Commission approved a hike that would take effect over three years, with customers paying a monthly average of about 13% more for electricity by 2022 compared to 2019.”

The report also indicated that In January Con Edison “filed a proposal with the Public Service Commission asking for $1.2 billion more to cover new transmission and resiliency projects, which would result in an estimated 11% bill increase for electric customers (gas customers will also see increases).”

Michael Gianaris, a top New York State lawmaker who is the senate deputy leader, wants the New York State Public Service Commission to probe the spike in utility bills that Con Ed customers in New York have reported, according to a report in the New York Post.

“These skyrocketing, unexpected costs are hurting New Yorkers’ pockets at an already difficult time,” Gianaris said. “Con Ed needs to answer for this change and help make customers whole.”

On February 2nd, Fox Business reported that “the Biden administration is exacerbating soaring energy prices by cracking down on the oil and gas industry with new regulations that limit production and discourage investments in traditional energy infrastructure, according to a new analysis published by the Joint Economic Committee Republicans.”

The Fox Business report added that for months, the prices of all kinds of energy – gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas, oil and more – have been a major driver behind inflation, which surged 7% in December, the highest level since 1982. Energy costs have climbed more than 29% over the past year, in part due to lopsided supply and demand. Consumers are traveling more, but the supply side has not kept up with the demand.

The JEC reported which was written by economist Hugo Dante and data analyst Kole Nichols said, “Washington is sending conflicting messages. Policymakers seem simultaneously concerned about high prices reflecting the weak supply of oil and gas, while aggressively pursuing an agenda designed to entirely phase-out oil and gas from domestic energy production.”

There is no question that the Biden administration is entirely culpable for the dramatic uptick in energy costs as inflation runs rampant and effects the pocketbooks of all Americans.

Perhaps the federal government should sit down with ConEd to ensure that New Yorkers are not totally ripped off for their energy costs. In the middle of a brutally cold winter, the last thing New Yorkers need is to struggle to pay their staggering ConEd bills.

This utility titan has been lining their pockets for decades on the backs of hard working New Yorkers and the time to expose them is long overdue.

 

 

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