24% Utility Rate Increase for NYSEG Customers: How Can You Beat It?

​Your utility bill is about to go up 24% overnight. You can thank a massive NYSEG rate increase.

​Fresh off the heels of a 15% rate increase schedule over the past three years, these utility companies have filed for a 23.7% increase for all NYSEG customers, and a 5.4% increase for all Rochester Gas & Electric customers.

​The story can be found here: https://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/local/2019/05/21/nyseg-and-rg-e-ask-rate-increases/3756574002/

The utility rate increase, if approved, will produce $200 million in additional revenue for the investor-owned utility, bringing its
total revenue to 6.7 billion per year.

The utility has cited vegetation management and the ongoing expansion of its smart meter program as the principal reasons for the increase. These "smart meters" allow customers to monitor electric usage in real time. But they may also bring about the possibility of the future introduction of time-of-use electric prices, in which delivery rates vary depending on supply and demand.

For most customers, there are three main ways to avoid a significant increase in your utility bills, working with an electricity supplier, drastically cutting electrical consumption, or generating your own power.

Electricity suppliers, also referred to as ESCOs, offer clients the opportunity to buy the supply of their electricity at reduced rates rather than paying the centralized NYSEG rate. While useful in practice, these supply companies have a checkered past and a track record of gouging customers. Many NYSEG customers were recently burned by the well-known Ambit energy scandal that cost thousands of customers millions of dollars throughout New York State. For this reason, many customers feel that ESCOs are not a viable option to reduce their electrical costs.

Power reduction is easier than ever with efficient appliances, LED lighting, and other modern technology being readily accessible. Programs like NYSERDA's home efficiency program help customers minimize the waste while heating and cooling their homes, and will wrap in funding sources that help keep investments affordable. While important, maximizing efficiency is time and labor intensive. Additionally, the advent of electric vehicles and electric heating and cooling systems has meant that many homes are using significantly more electricity today than they were ten years ago.

​There is one more option for families, switching their power production. Solar, wind, and small-scale hydropower enable families to divorce their energy generation from the utility and ESCOs. By net-metering systems and feeding excess power back into the grid, customers can directly offset ALL their utility charges using renewable sources. While 90% of NYSEG and RG&E customers will be straddled with massive bill increases, this year, families and businesses who deploy renewable energy systems will be able to mitigate those cost increases and stay on budget.

If you have any questions about how this rate increase will affect your home or businesses budget, please reach out to our team, and we'll do our best to help you plan for these increases before they hit your bank account.

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