Higher Electricity Costs Projected for the Winter

By Matis Glenn


NEW YORK – New Yorkers hoping to get a reprieve from high summer electric bills are in for a rude awakening, as costs this winter are projected to be over 30 percent higher than last year, reports State of Politics.

Natural gas and fuel costs – which are directly related to electricity production – continue to be higher due to pandemic-era supply issues, Russia’s war on Ukraine, and other issues. Many people are also shifting towards using more electricity in vehicles and buildings, to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite the higher cost, New York’s power grid will not be significantly strained, according to an assessment by New York Independent System Operator, as group that oversees the state’s electrical grid.

“We’re well-positioned to meet this winter’s forecast,” Kevin Lanahan, NYISO’s vice president of external affairs and corporate communications told State of Politics. “The real concern we have is whether or not that’s going to impact fuel supplies here in the state. Right now, it doesn’t look like that’s an issue, but the pricing issue is definitely something that we’re concerned about and we want to make sure consumers understand going into the heating season.”

Utility companies are preparing for a surge in customers who will have difficulty paying their energy bills.

National Grid announced last week that it would donate $6 million to customers who have a hard time paying their bills; that amount is on top of federal and state aid. National Grid’s assistance is expected to benefit 31,500 New Yorkers who don’t currently qualify for government programs.

“[We] will try to help those kinds of customers who just don’t make the cut-off for the federal programs and things like that,” National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella told State of Politics. “It’s some of the things we’re trying to do just to prepare and help customers that may be financially in trouble during the winter season.”

In an effort to stay on track with New York’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050, National Grid has started system upgrades in preparation for a higher reliance on electric energy.

“There’s going to be much more load on these electric systems than there has been in the past, so we’re trying to build them,” Stella said. “We’re trying to build more capacity and early on.”

NYISO leaders Monday said the new solar and wind systems generate 700 megawatts; enough to power over 100,000 homes.

But NYISO experts said it’s not enough, and that it’s something lawmakers need to focus on moving forward.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!