Colder weather typically means higher gas and electric bills. But this winter, the increase may be more than usual.
Residential customers using on average 600 kWh a month this winter will pay about $157, a 17% percent increase over last winter, based on current projections.
Residential customers using an average of 158 ccfs per month will pay about $283 a month for their gas bills, a 26% increase over last winter's average.
The rising cost of natural gas supplies has increased customers’ natural gas and electric winter bills for Orange & Rockland (O&R) and the rest of New York State’s electric and gas utility companies. Rising natural gas costs increase prices in both the natural gas and electricity markets because natural gas is one of the main fuels that power the production of electricity.
What has caused the increase in natural gas prices?
The cost of natural gas has been driven upward as:
- Demand for the commodity has risen,
- Exports have increased, and
- Supply is limited.
What does O&R do to try to control these costs?
We analyze supply and demand forecasts and uses a variety of buying methods, including short-term and long-term contracts, to get the best natural gas prices and electricity prices for its customers. O&R provides both natural gas and electricity to its customers at cost.
Neither O&R nor the state’s other utility companies set supply costs and do not make a profit on the supply.
What can I do to save on energy?
We know how frustrating it is to receive higher-than-expected bills, and we recognize our part in keeping bills as low as possible while still delivering reliable energy – even in extreme weather as energy market prices surge. Managing costs to ease the burden on you is our priority; and the best way to manage your energy costs is to manage your usage through conservation.
Here are 8 ways to help manage your energy bills:
- Spread payments evenly across the year: Budget Billing allows you to avoid large month-to-month changes in energy costs.
- Consider a payment agreement: A payment agreement helps you pay down an outstanding balance in manageable, monthly installments.
- Check your benefits: Find information about governmental assistance programs, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Customers enrolled in assistance programs may be eligible for discounts on their energy bills through our Energy Affordability Program.
- Go energy efficient: Upgrade your lights, thermostats, and other appliances through our Marketplace Rebates and Savings, exclusive to our customers.
- Manage your usage: Register for My Account via oru.com or our mobile app for an in-depth look at your hourly energy usage.
- Get customized tips: Our Home Energy Analysis tool can give you personalized tips and suggestions to help you improve efficiency and control costs all year long.
- Avoid peak hours: If you consistently limit your electricity use during peak hours, you might be able save money by switching to our Time-of-Use rate billing option.
- Choose your energy supplier: Orange & Rockland does not generate energy. We provide customers their energy at the same wholesale rate that we pay for it and don’t make a profit on supply costs. Customers can research and choose another supplier and get tips for evaluating choices.
If you’re still having trouble managing your energy costs, we’re here to help.
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