Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Con Edison Electricity Rates for Energy Spike 21% in June

FERC and the New York PSC recently issued reports that NYISO wholesale prices for electricity will be much higher this summer. See NY City Wholesale Electricity Prices May Rise 89% Due to Market Design and Higher Natural Gas Prices.

Despite this large runup in wholesale energy costs, Con Edison indicated, however, that this summer its residential customers may see increases of "only" 13%. See Say Watt? Con Ed Bills May Soar a Re'volt'ing 30%, and Summer Juice Bill to Give Jolt.

Rising prices have already outstripped Con Edison's earlier price projections for June 2008. Con Edison had filed rates effective May 1 2008 for its Market Supply Charge (MSC) and Market Adjustment Clause (MAC), forecasting energy charges (as distinguished from "delivery" charges and various surcharges) for each of the next three months, through July 2008. See Con Edison Statement of Market Supply Charge and Monthly Adjustment Clause. This filing projected that June energy rates (the sum of the MSC and MAC) for residential customers would be 14.826 cents/kwh.

When Con Edison filed its monthly rate changes on June 11, 2008, the MSC and MAC were higher than previously filed. Energy rates for residential Con Edison electric customers spiked 21% above the previously filed rates for energy. When total rates are considered, the increase in the amount projected on May 1 for June is in the neighborhood of 13%. See Con Edison Summary of Adjustments - MSC and MAC. The rates for energy now actually being charged in June are 17.9397 cents/kwh.

For a customer using 500 kwh, the difference between what Con Edison projected for June and what is actually being charged is about $15.

The May1 Con Edison rate filing indicated that projected July 2008 rates will be more than two cents/kwh higher than the projected June rates. With June energy rates actually 3 cents higher than Con Edison's projection, and already about 13% higher than May, what will happen in July?

The Public Service Commission allows Con Edison and Orange & Rockland to change their rates every month. See PULP's web page on the Con Edison MSC and MAC adjustments. The monthly fluctuations make it difficult for customers to predict their bills, and to compare Con Edison rates with those of other providers, such as ESCOs or landlords who the PSC has allowed to sell electricity if they charge no more than Con Edison's rates.

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