CON EDISON OFFERS CONSUMER-FRIENDLY PROGRAMS TO HELP CUSTOMERS SAVE ON WINTER BILLS;
URGES CUSTOMERS TO CONSERVE ENERGY
Company Offers Payment Plans, Budget Billing, Low-Income Discounts;
Customers Can Save with Careful Usage, Energy Efficiency Programs
NEW YORK – Con Edison is offering programs to help customers with their energy bills this winter, while also sharing tips for saving money by conserving and using energy wisely.
The company offers payment assistance options, including budget billing, which smooths a customer’s costs out throughout the year, payment plans, and payment extensions.
A payment plan allows a customer to pay off arrears over time, rather than all at once. Payment extensions give customers up to 10 extra days to pay their bills.
Customers who receive benefits from certain government assistance programs can qualify for the company’s Energy Affordability Program.
Con Edison offers these programs out of an understanding that high energy costs can be a hardship, particularly for low- and moderate-income customers.
The best way for customers to take control of their bills is to manage their usage of gas and electricity. Customers can follow energy-saving tips and check out the energy efficiency incentives Con Edison offers for upgrades customers make to their homes.
Helping Vulnerable Customers
Con Edison offers special protections and payment programs for seniors, people with disabilities, customers experiencing medical emergencies, or domestic violence.
The Home Energy Assistance Program provides discounts for qualified low-income customers to limit utility costs to 6 percent of average annual income. The discount is based on a statewide formula that is updated annually and adjusted if delivery costs change.
Conserving is Key
The best strategy for Con Edison’s 3.6 million customers is to carefully manage their usage.
Customers can save money by using these tips:
· Set thermostats at the lowest comfortable temperature. Each degree lower decreases heating costs.
· Make sure heating vents are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or anything else that could obstruct the flow of heat.
· Have a qualified contractor clean and inspect heating systems.
· Insulate hot-water pipes and warm-air ducts that pass through unheated areas. Clean or replace filters for the hot-air furnace and heat-pump.
· Swap out window shades seasonally. Light-colored window coverings reflect the sun’s energy, while darker ones absorb it and release heat.
· Replace conventional light bulbs with LED bulbs, which are up to 10 times more efficient, and are widely available and affordable.
Winter Energy Costs
Con Edison projects that gas bills this winter will be about the same as last winter, but that electric bills will rise, mainly due to increases in delivery charges. Electric supply charges – which cover the cost of the commodity – are also up.
Con Edison buys natural gas and electricity on the wholesale markets and uses a variety of strategies to stabilize pricing for customers. The company does not set supply costs and does not make a profit on the supply.
The company currently projects that its average residential natural gas heating customer using an average of 163 therms per month will pay $416 a month from November 2023 to March 2024, 1 percent more than the average bill of $413 a year earlier.
Gas delivery costs will be up, according to the projections, due to a rate plan the New York State Public Service Commission approved in July. But those increases will be offset by a decrease in supply charges.
Electric delivery costs are also projected to be up due to the approved rate plan. Electric supply costs are higher due to the rising cost of electric capacity. Power generators receive monthly electric capacity payments from the New York Independent System Operator to ensure that there is enough power available at times when demand is highest. Those costs get passed along to Con Edison when the company pays the NYISO for the electric capacity required to serve customers.
A New York City residential customer using 280 kilowatt hours a month this winter will pay about $117, a 14 percent increase over last winter’s $103, based on current projections.
A Westchester County customer using 425 kilowatt hours a month will have an average bill of $143, an 11 percent increase over last winter’s $129, based on the company’s latest estimates.
For a small commercial customer using 583 kilowatt hours per month, bills are projected to rise $9, or 4 percent, from $223 last winter to $232.
A larger commercial customer using 10,800 kilowatt hours per month with a peak demand of 30 kilowatts will see an increase of $27, or 1 percent, from $2,993 to $3,020.