Coronavirus has Con Edison bracing for expensive NYC summer

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New Yorkers will likely have higher electric bills this summer as more residents work from home and remain sheltered in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, Consolidated Edison Inc. said in a Wednesday press release.

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Under normal circumstances, a residential home in New York City typically uses 350 kilowatt-hours per month and has an electric bill of $99.14, according to company data from 2019. Con Edison expects that number to jump 9.5 percent to $108.53 per month between June and September.

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For New York City businesses that use 10,800-kilowatt-hours (with a peak demand of 31 kilowatts), Con Edison said these customers can expect their average monthly summer bill to increase from $2,203.94 in 2019 to $2,320.15 this year.

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ED CONSOLIDATED EDISON 70.74 -0.14 -0.20%

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Besides the fact that residents and businesses will be likely to blast air conditioners while they remain indoors, Con Edison said this summer’s higher-than-normal bills stem from rising costs put forth by power suppliers. Forecasts are showing this summer will be hotter than in previous years.

Despite Con Edison’s predictions, the company has suspended disconnecting power for customers who can’t pay their bills and is even going as far as waiving late fees for coronavirus-related unemployment.

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“Safe, reliable power is essential for New Yorkers, particularly during the health crisis,” said Tim Cawley, the president of Con Edison. “We continue to invest to keep our system reliable and are accelerating the integration of clean technologies onto the grid.”

He added, “We also realize that these are difficult times for our customers and have taken steps to ease the financial burden and help them stay safe. Defeating the coronavirus requires a collective effort and the women and men of Con Edison are keenly focused on doing our part.”

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On the flip side, residents in nearby Westchester, New York, can expect a decrease to their Con Edison bill. A residential home in this suburb typically uses 500-kilowatt hours per month that costs $121.31 on average, according to data from 2019. However, Con Edison said these customers can expect their bill to go down by three percent for $117.63 per month.

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