These days, the news is full of stories about energy. Whether it’s gasoline, fuel oil, natural gas, or electricity, the forces of supply and demand are having an impact on the commodities that are important to all of us.
The following information will give you an understanding of New York’s summer electric supply situation — what’s happening and why. You can learn about New York’s electricity needs, how you can control your electric costs, and the steps that are taken to ensure the reliability of the electric system.
Energy Supply and System Reliability
On a statewide basis, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) forecasts that New York should have enough electricity to meet demand for the period from June through September. The NYISO projects that New York’s peak demand will be 31,765 megawatts (MW). A review of the electric system and utility preparedness indicates that New York will have 41,049 MW worth of capacity resources which will meet summer peak demand and provide a cushion in case of severe hot weather.
On an extremely hot day -- when electricity usage is at its peak -- New York's electric utilities may take special steps to maintain the reliability of the state's electrical system.
If the need to reduce usage continues, utilities may:
- Issue an "energy alert" and public appeals to residential customers to voluntarily reduce energy use.
- Contact large business customers directly to request they reduce their consumption.
- Activate demand reduction programs for large customers.
Return to Menu
- Institute electric voltage reductions.
- Request assistance from neighboring electric systems
- Cut electricity supplies to customers in certain areas.
Price Outlook and Bill Management
Summer Pricing Outlook
In general, energy bills are expected to be about 12% higher on average than last summer. On a statewide average basis, a typical residential customer that uses 600 kWh of electricity per month is expected to pay about $50 per month for supply. Full service residential supply bills will vary from this estimate based on the customer's location and utility.
Bill costs will also depend on the actual, rather than estimated, energy prices. The commodity price of electricity or natural gas rises, and falls based on many factors, including weather, the balance between supply and demand, and the current global unrest. When there is a widespread and prolonged heat spell, overall demand for energy increases, which puts upward pressure on prices. Any change in the cost of supply can have a significant impact on the overall energy bill. Utilities employ hedging strategies to “lock-in” energy supplies during periods when spot market energy supply rates and demand are typically at their highest. By employing hedging strategies, utilities are able to moderate supply price spikes in competitive energy markets that would otherwise be passed along to customers. [Read More]
Manage Your Energy Bills
An energy bill consists of two parts: delivery and supply. The delivery charge is the cost to transport the energy to you throughout the utility’s system. This fee is regulated by the NYS Public Service Commission. The supply charge is the cost of the electricity or natural gas commodity itself. The supply price is determined in a competitive marketplace and is not controlled by the Commission or the utilities and. The utilities do not make a profit from the supply charge.
Your energy bill depends on how much electricity or natural gas you use and the rate you are paying. In general, the more energy you use, the higher your bill will be. The price you pay for electricity generally depends on your supplier’s cost to buy that electricity. If the underlying cost of fuel used to generate electricity — like oil or natural gas — increases, the price of your electricity may increase.
Whether you own your own home or rent an apartment, there are steps you can take to control your energy use and manage your energy bills. Read below for information on bill payment options and financial assistance programs. This information is also available to download by clicking the Consumer Assistance Fact Sheet.
Bill Payment Programs
You or someone you know may need financial help with your energy costs. Various bill payment options and financial assistance programs are available.
Financial Assistance Programs
- Budget Plans- which provide equal monthly payments.
- Deferred Payment Agreement- which may be available if you have fallen behind on your bill and cannot pay in full.
Federal and local programs are available to help consumers with their energy costs from the sources below. The Consumer Assistance factsheet provides income eligibility information, as well as a more detailed description of each program benefit.
Government-sponsored programs: Contact your county's Department of Social Services or Office for the Aging to learn about assistance programs.
Community-based Service Programs: Service organizations and local community agencies provide financial aid, counseling services and assistance with utility emergencies. Contact organizations like the American Red Cross (800-733-2767), Salvation Army (800-728-7825), and United Way (2-1-1 or 888-774-7633) to learn more.
- Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): is a federally funded program that provides grants to help low-income consumers pay for their energy costs. Additional information regarding the HEAP program can be found on the HEAP website or visit myBenefits. The Consumer Assistance factsheet provides income eligibility information, as well as a more detailed description of each program benefit.
- Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP): is a drinking water and wastewater emergency assistance program funded through new federal resources. Information regarding LIHWAP can be found at the otda.ny.gov/LIHWAP website.
- Affordable Connectivity Program(ACP): is a federal program that provides low-income families up to $30 a month towards the cost of broadband internet service. Information regarding ACP benefits and eligibility can be found at affordableconectivity.gov website or calling 877-384-2575.
Utility Sponsored Programs: Payment assistance programs are available through each of the major natural gas and electric utilities. In addition, eligible low-income customers can receive a discount on their monthly electric and/or natural gas bills, as well as other benefits, depending on the characteristics of the particular utility’s program.
Utility Companies Energy Assistance/ Energy Efficiency Programs Website Links
Return to Menu
Energy Conservation make every effort to reduce your electricity use. Turn off all
Your energy costs are made up of two factors: the cost of the energy product and the amount of the energy you use. No matter where prices go or what the season is like, you can make the most of your energy dollars by taking basic steps to reduce your usage. The less energy you use in your home, the more you will save.
Energy Efficiency Programs: In addition to low-cost or no-cost steps you can do yourself, there are programs available through several government agencies and New York's major energy utilities to make energy efficiency improvements to your home or business. These improvements will help lower your energy use and make energy bills more affordable. There are also programs to help income eligible customers with energy efficiency solutions. For details about their programs, contact:
Home Energy Assessment: One of the things that you can do to control your bill is to find out where you are losing energy and money. You can conduct an energy audit of your home or apartment that will help show where problems exist and how they can be corrected.
- NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers financial assistance and energy efficiency improvement programs. Call 1-866 NYSERDA (1-866-697-3732) or visit www.nyserda.ny.gov.
- NYS Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR) oversees the New York’s Weatherization Assistance Program. Call 518-474-5700 or visit www.hcr.ny.gov/weatherization
- NYS Electric and Natural Gas Utilities offer a variety of energy efficiency programs to help their customers reduce their energy use. Contact your utility and ask about its available programs.
Conservation Tips: By using electricity wisely, you can conserve energy in a safe manner. Using less electricity will help ensure that there will be an adequate supply for everyone and can help lower your bills.
- Professional Assessments: New York State agencies and some utilities offer home energy assessments at little to no cost. A licensed contractor will come to your home and evaluate your lighting, heating, cooling equipment and appliances, and offer energy-saving recommendations. With some programs the contractor will install energy-saving items at no charge, including LED bulbs, smart power strips and more.
- New York Statewide Programs: Visit NYSERDA’s website at www.nyserda.ny.gov.
- Utility Programs: Contact your utility to see if it offers a home energy assessment.
- Do-It-Yourself Assessments: You can conduct a do it yourself energy audit or visit the US Department of Energy’s on-line Energy-and Cost- Savings Calculators to identify additional ways to save energy in your home.
- Use major home appliances (washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc.) early or late in the day.
- Turn off your air conditioner when you leave home; set the thermostat at 78 degrees or run it on "low."
- Use an electric fan to bring in the cool air from outside during the morning and evening. Fans use much less electricity than air conditioners.
- Close curtains or blinds during the day to block out the heat from the sunlight.
- Shop for the EnergyStar symbol for energy efficiency when you are in the market for a new air conditioner or any major appliance.
- Use a programmable thermostat on your air conditioning and a timer on your pool filter
- Opt for LED light bulbs
Return to Menu
Protect your appliances by using dedicated surge protectors from power surges. In the event of a power outage or voltage reduction, make sure you do the following:
Protect your health
- Disconnect sensitive electronic appliances such as your personal computer, printers, televisions, microwave, and game consoles.
- Turn off other appliances that were on. This prevents blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers when the power does come back on.
Protect your safety in the event of a storm, accident, or other situation that causes your electricity to go out, consider the following steps:
- Keep cool by staying in a cool place. Take it easy, drink liquids and wear cool, loose fitting clothes.
- Know the signs of heat stress (also known as hyperthermia) including dizziness, nausea, headache and dry skin. If a person exhibits these symptoms, seek immediate medical help.
- Check to see if your neighbor has power.
- Call to notify your utility of the outage.
- Keep a battery-operated radio and flashlight on hand, as well as a supply of batteries.
- Have at least one telephone available in your hands that does not require household electricity to operate.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Food will not spoil for six to nine hours in a refrigerator without electricity. Frozen foods will keep about 24 hours
- Register special needs customers with their utility so they will receive priority attention.
- Follow all safety precautions for operating portable generators.
Return to Menu
See other web pages in the category: Other