Supply constraints or corporate greed?
Quick Read - 7 Minute Read
Utility prices are still rising due to an exceptionally cold winter and geopolitical stress.
Governor Hochul has called on Con Ed to review their billing practices in hopes of taming wild utility costs.
Government officials are calling rising utility costs a guise for corporate greed.
An investment into solar can counter rising utility bills.
Energy Rates Are On The Rise
In early November we published our article New York State Energy Rates To Skyrocket warning New York homeowners on the oncoming spike in utility costs. Sadly, we were correct in our hypothesis that global supply constraints from the global recovery of COVID-19 would directly affect the supply of natural gas for both heating and generating power (natural gas generates 2/3 of New York states electricity).
Furthermore, an exceptionally cold January combined with the geopolitical stress caused by the Russian (a large exporter of fossil fuels) threat of invading the Ukraine strained the global supply of natural gas even further. High demand with low supply means soaring price increases, in some cases literally tripling utility bills.1
This shortage has prompted New York utility companies to decide how to deal with these price spikes. Con Edison’s response has pulled by far the most media attention, by quite literally passing the increasing costs of supply to their customer base. Con Edison has responded to the heat caused in both social media and the political sphere by attempting to shift blame to global factors stating it buys power from the wholesale and delivers it “without a profit.”2
New York States Response
The response to Con Ed’s blame game has been heated, and the New York government isn’t buying the story of utilities having nothing to do to help. Governor Hochul has called on the utility to review their billing practices and better communicate with their customers the current situation. Additionally Hochul announced through the Public Service Commission (PSC) increased relief efforts for New Yorkers struggling with their utility bills as a short term solution to a long term problem.
To add insult onto injury, Con Ed has plans to increase its rates by an additional 11.2% to compensate for the company’s investment into renewable infrastructure while also fortifying the grid against extreme weather. Rep. Tom Suozzi found this required rate increase hard to justify as “the company reports annual profits of $1 billion plus following previous rate increases”4
Congressman Jamaal Bowman on Feb. 11 added “Con Ed has made record profits while our neighbors, even before the rate increase, were forced to choose between staying warm and paying more or battling the cold to avoid a higher energy bill. While Con Ed points to a rise in fuel prices and jumps to pass this cost onto consumers, this is caused by one thing and one thing only: corporate greed that puts profits before people.”5
The response doesn’t stop on the political level however, exploding utility bills prompted the citizens of Yorktown to rally and protest the rate increase on Feb. 11th. The protesters demanded greater transparency and accountability from Con Ed moving forward.
There Is A Plan
We know, this article was a lot of “doom and gloom,” but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Governor Hochul’s 2022 State of the State announced many new exciting programs and legislation to make the state more green. One of the most important announcements made was the states renewed dedication to updating and electrifying its buildings.
With buildings accounting for more than one third of New York’s climate pollution, creating more efficient homes and buildings will save its citizens billions while simultaneously lowering its carbon footprint.6
If currents events have showed us anything, it’s that investing in green American infrastructure is important now more than ever. As our nation enters this new electrical revolution, we as a nation must focus on strong American values. Free market economy, investing in American infrastructure, investing in American jobs, investing American energy, all of these are fundamental values we should embrace to create a stronger nation to create a brighter US future.
Investing in American green energy will eliminate our nations reliance on foreign fossil fuels while creating a stronger and climate friendly economy. Steps are already being taken in New York state to achieve these goals, and Governor Hochul has released a practical multi-step plan in her State of the State to make New York State a leader in fighting climate change.
New York homeowners can take advantage of some of the most lucrative solar incentives in the country right now when they go solar. Our article Why 2022 Is The Best Year To Go Solar fully lays out how going solar in New York state in 2022 can revolutionize the way their owners power their lives. Not only do solar panels fight climate change, but they invest in American jobs and the future on our nation.
Take back control of your utility costs now and go solar today!