Consolidated Edison Inc., commonly known as Con Edison or ConEd, operates one of the “world’s largest energy delivery systems” providing energy for roughly 10 million people who live in New York City and Westchester County.
Over the past weekend, dozens of customers claimed on Twitter that their electric bills unexpectedly doubled.
A Con Edison electricity bill from January 2022. (FOX Business )
The price increases last month were due to an uptick in the supply cost of the energy commodity, not the cost for ConEd’s services, otherwise known as “transmission and distribution charges,” ConEd spokesman Allan Drury told FOX Business.
“Natural gas is a driver of electricity costs as it is used by generation plants to create electricity. Con Edison does not make a profit on the commodity,” Drury said in a statement to FOX Business. “We buy the energy on the wholesale market and provide it to customers at the same price we paid.”
NYMEX natural gas futures have jumped over 49% from 12 months ago.
The company has roughly 3.5 million electric customers and 1.1 million natural gas customers.
Drury broke down how the electricity costs increased over a month’s time for a home that uses 300 kilowatt-hours (kWh), a measure of how much energy a customer uses per hour.
In December, the supply cost for the energy commodity – the cost of the electricity itself – was $22.81 while the cost to deliver that energy to a household was $59.99, according to Drury.
In January, the supply cost for the energy commodity surged to $37.16 while the delivery service cost $62.87.
Gas bills for any household were also up, about 19.2%, in January, including taxes and fees, Drury said.
However, “energy prices are volatile and can be affected by factors such as weather, demand, and economic trends” and the best way for customers to manage their bills is to manage their usage, Drury noted.
The company alerted customers in November that their bills were likely to increase as the cost of energy rises due to supply costs. At the time, ConEd said it tries to offset any increases in the cost of supply by using a “variety of buying methods and hedges, including short-term and long-term contracts.”
However, outraged customers quickly took to Twitter, with some even calling on city officials to rectify the issue.
“Why is my coned bill nearly 3x higher than usual when I used less energy this month,” one user asked.
Another user argued that their bill was over $400 “despite no tangible change,” saying that it was “absolute robbery.”
A City Hall spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement that “these types of bills are devastating to hard-working New Yorkers” especially due to the fact that the city “is just now emerging from an economic crisis.”
“All customers who are eligible for the low-income discount can sign-up to get needed relief,” the spokesperson said.
The city said it will also be discussing directly with ConEd “to see what can be done.”
However, this problem isn’t just hitting New Yorkers, according to Steve Moore, an economist, former Trump adviser, and FOX Business contributor.
“Utility bills are climbing at a record pace at many states throughout the country due to the higher costs of heating fuel, oil, gas and coal,” Moore said. “Millions of homeowners are seeing 40% to 50% increases in their bills over last year.”