Like gasoline prices, once upon a time, paying your electric bill wasn't given a second thought. Now, people are facing monthly electric bills that are equal to or exceed their monthly car payments.
Who is seeing higher prices?
I saw a post come up in a group local to Gilbertsville, NY that got me thinking. Jean W. asked: I'm curious to know if anyone in G'ville is getting outrageous NYSEG electric bills in Dec, Jan. & Feb. Precipitated by much increased delivery and supply charges?
Ashley A. replied: "Mine was 449 dollars last month …… month prior was 201. Huge jump". Allison M. said: "Mine was almost $400 for January! We did have a few space heaters running more than usual though." Finally, Susan M. said: "Yes this just happened to me. It jumped 4x's as much and we haven't done anything differently."
Why are rates soaring?
An article from October 2023 in Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle outlines a hike in NYSEG's rates at 22.1% for electric and 6.1% for gas usage over three years. If you're a NYSEG customer using 600 kwh per month, you would have seen a monthly bill increase of $9.94 or 10.3%.
Avangrid, the parent company of NYSEG points to their plans to spend $2.1 billion dollars replacing critical infrastructure including old power poles and wires, as well as cutting back vegetation that could interfere with power lines, and outage detection systems as a reason for rate increases.
What can you do to lower your bill?
If you're experiencing high energy bills, there are a few things that might assist with lowering your bill.
If you use electricity to heat your home, turn that thermostat down and put on a sweater or get under blankets. Set your fridge to 37 degrees and your freezer to 0 degrees. Your food will still be fresh, but it won't work as hard.
Hot water is a major energy sucker, in fact it's the second largest next to heat according to the Energy Department. Make your hot water heater your bizzanch! Take shorter showers, and adjust the temperature on your hot water heater. Typically, some heaters are set to 140 degrees by default. Lowering it to 120 degrees can save you 4-22% annually.