Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Cost of Power

Electricity, that is. Here's a question for you: why, when the cost of natural gas is plummeting along with the wholesale cost of electricity, are New York's Central Hudson, Rochester Gas and Electric and NYSEG looking for rate hikes?

They argue that their aging infrastructure requires significant repair and the cost of the materials has gone up. They argue demand is down.

But the fact is that wholesale prices have tanked to levels not seen since 2003. Local legislators want to know whether the utilities have tightened their belts. The state assembly has a joint hearing going on that questions how the whole system is run.

It is, by many accounts, a mess.

So far, the rate hikes are getting the thumbs down by the state. But the next request is on file and a decision is expected this summer.

Compare what's going on in NY to New Hampshire. National Grid's requesting a rate change, too. It wants to cut what it charges its customers by 33%.

Makes you wonder.


pinkpackrat said...

Interesting post-- let's see New York vs. New Hampshire. Could it be that those hardy New England types are switching to solar and wind on a house by house basis, selling the excess back and ergo rates can go down? New York might want to take a look at that.

Susan said...

There's so much interest in doing that in NY, but despite incentives from the state it's still expensive.
I'm waiting to see solar roofing materials...when your old roof needs replacing, you put on your new solar roof and bingo - free electricity!