Orange & Rockland (O&R) reminds customers to conserve energy this month because winter energy costs are running higher this year than they did a year ago.
Orange & Rockland recognizes that high energy costs are a hardship for consumers across the United States, including in the New York region, and wants to help customers manage their bills during the winter heating season.
The company offers Tips for Lowering Your Energy Bill and a number of Payment Plans and Assistance, including Budget Billing, which smooths customer’s costs out throughout the year. The company encourages customers to check out its energy efficiency incentives for upgrades customers make to their homes. Rebates, Incentives, and Tax Credits
Also, the company offers help for customers who are struggling with their bills. Orange & Rockland offers payment plans Payment Plans and Assistance, so that customers can pay off balances over time, rather than all at once.
Orange & Rockland buys natural gas and electricity on the wholesale markets and uses a variety of strategies to stabilize pricing for customers. The company does not set supply costs and does not make a profit on the supply. But O&R does take steps to keep energy bills as low as possible. These steps include locking in energy prices when energy is cheaper.
Natural gas supplies are expected to remain tight this winter, and any disruptions from interstate gas transmission providers could further constrain supplies. O&R remains vigilant in its monitoring of operational conditions.
O&R notes that energy costs can change quickly due to international events, economic trends, weather and other factors. The company will continue to refine its winter pricing forecast.
Winter Bill Projections
The company currently projects that its average residential natural gas heating customer using an average of 158 ccfs per month will pay $282.95 a month from November 2022 to March 2023, 25.8 percent more than the average bill of $224.97 per month a year earlier.
Higher natural gas prices also affect the cost of electricity because power generation plants in the region run mainly on natural gas.
Based on current projections, a typical O&R residential customer using 600 kWh a month this winter will pay about $157.28 per month, a 16.6 percent increase over last winter’s $134.95 per month cost.
In the more immediate term, the company expects a typical O&R residential customer to have a January electric bill 24.6 percent higher than December 2022. The gas heating bill for a typical customer is expected to be 9.4 percent higher than December 2022, according to the company’s projections. These projections assume monthly electric use of 600 kWh for electric customers and 100 Ccf for natural gas customers. As with the consumption of any commodity, the more you use the more you pay.
Manage Energy Use
The best strategy for Orange & Rockland’s approximately 233,000 electric and 130,000 natural gas customers is to carefully manage their usage.
Customers can save money on energy by using these tips:
· Set thermostats at the lowest comfortable temperature. Whether you are using a gas furnace or an electric heat pump, each degree lower decreases heating costs.
· Make sure heating vents are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or anything else that could obstruct the flow of heat.
· Have a qualified contractor clean and inspect your heating system.
· Insulate hot-water pipes and warm-air ducts that pass through unheated areas. Clean or replace filters for your hot-air furnace and heat-pump.
· Swap out window shades seasonally. Light-colored window coverings reflect the sun's energy, while darker ones absorb it and release heat.
· Replace conventional light bulbs with LED bulbs, which are up to 10 times more efficient and are widely available and affordable.
Customers who receive benefits from certain government programs may qualify for discounts on their monthly energy bills. Orange & Rockland offers information on these and other Payment Plans and Assistance it has available for customers.
The company’s information campaign to keep customers informed about winter bills will include press outreach, e-mails, bill inserts, social media postings, conversations with elected officials and other communications.
Orange & Rockland serves the following communities in New York: Airmont, Bloomingburg, Blooming Grove, Chester Town, Chester Village, Chestnut Ridge, Clarkstown, Crawford, Deerpark, Florida, Forestburgh, Goshen Town, Goshen Village, Grand View, Greenwood Lake, Greenville, Harriman, Haverstraw Town, Haverstraw Village, Highland Falls, Highlands, Hillburn, Kaser, Kiryas Joel, Lumberland, Mamakating, Middletown, Minisink, Monroe Town, Monroe Village, Montebello, Mount Hope, New Hempstead, New Square, Nyack, Orangetown, Otisville, Palm Tree, Piermont, Pomona, Port Jervis, Ramapo, Sloatsburg, South Blooming Grove, South Nyack, Spring Valley, Stony Point, Suffern, Tuxedo Town, Tuxedo Park, Unionville, Upper Nyack, Wesley Hills, Wallkill, Warwick Town, Warwick Village, Washingtonville, Wawayanda, West Haverstraw, Woodbury, Woodbury Village, Wurtsboro.
Orange and Rockland Utilities (O&R) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (Con Edison) (NYSE: ED), one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies. Orange & Rockland is a regulated electric and gas utility that serves approximately 244,000 electric customers and 131,460 natural gas customers in New York. For additional information about O&R, please visit O&R’s Web site at www.oru.com.
Energy Prices Are Rising Across the U.S.; Here’s a Guide on How Customers Can Manage Their Winter Bills
- Consider a payment agreement. A Payment Agreement can help 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 Payment Plans and Assistance
- Manage your use. Register for My Account and log in via oru.com or the oru mobile app for an in-depth look at your hourly energy use.
- Get customized tips. Estimate Your Energy Usage can give you personalized tips and suggestions to help you improve efficiency and control costs this winter— and all year long.
- 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 Shop for Energy Suppliers