Electricity prices will rise 12% this summer, analysts say

Get out those T-shirts and shorts, summer electricity prices (and therefore air conditioning costs) are expected to rise 12% this summer, according to the state’s Public Service Commission.

“Overall, the average rate for full-service residential products statewide is expected to be approximately 12% higher than last summer,” according to a PSC statement Thursday.

The increase is primarily driven by higher natural gas prices, which is the result of post-COVID economic growth and uncertainty over global fuel supplies in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. .

“Due to an expected increase in generator fuel costs as well as changes in pricing and capacity obligations, residential and commercial customers may experience higher product bills this summer than last year,” said PSC Chairman Rory Christian said Thursday in a prepared statement on the expected increases. .

This does not mean that electricity prices have remained stable in recent years. The increases planned for the summer follow price increases of 11% each year over the past two summers. And this summer would mark a return to 2014 prices, followed by several years of declining natural gas prices.

Estimates of how this summer’s increase will likely translate into dollars and cents were not immediately available. But the higher prices also come after winter costs have also risen.

Natural gas energy is used to heat homes in the winter and cool them in the summer. While natural gas systems are used to power boilers and heaters in homes and buildings, air conditioning in the summer puts a load on the electrical grid. Much of this electricity is produced by natural gas-fired power plants, which typically account for more than a third of the state’s energy sources.

National Grid, a major utility serving much of the upstate, predicted last fall that customers would face increases of about $36 a month in natural gas heating costs.

On the bright side, actual electricity consumption in the state is hitting lower peaks due to continued efficiency improvements.

New York in the summer of 2013 set a record peak load of 33,955 megawatts. Peak load this summer is expected to be 31,765 MW. And while the cost may rise, PSC analysts say the state has enough power plant capacity to meet demand, with a total of 41,166 MW of capacity.

[email protected] 518 454 5758 @RickKarlinTU

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