The supply price for natural gas effective May 1 will fall to 64 cents per 100 cubic feet (ccf), down from 97 cents per ccf in April. This represents a 34 percent decrease in the supply price and is largely attributable to efforts made by Central Hudson to mitigate bill impacts that result from energy market price volatility. Supply prices stated on bills and overall bill impacts will vary for individual customers depending on their billing cycle and energy usage.
As the result of ongoing discussions with state regulators over the persistent upward market pressures on energy supply prices, Central Hudson is further deferring gas supply costs from this past winter in an effort to help reduce bill impacts to customers.
Costs from natural gas spot purchases earlier this year were already being deferred over several months to help reduce winter bill impacts. These spot purchases were necessary during the periods of extreme cold this winter to meet the heating needs of residents and businesses.
With this change, the remaining costs of these spot purchases will now be deferred and spread throughout the 2023 calendar year to provide immediate relief during this period of high energy costs and allow additional time for local economic recovery. Spreading the costs over a longer time period will further reduce bill impacts. Central Hudson is exploring the viability of a similar approach for electricity costs if another significant spike in supply prices occurs in the future.
Regional and global factors continue to place significant upward pressure on natural gas prices, however. The base price for natural gas supply in May actually increased by 12 percent over April’s base price, but deferral of the costs associated with the previous spot purchases will effectively reduce the natural gas supply price for the coming month by 34 percent.
Energy supply prices, which are accounted for in the supply portion of customers’ bills, are market-based. Central Hudson does not mark-up nor profit on the energy that is purchased on behalf of customers. Electricity and natural gas are provided by independent generators and suppliers in the competitive energy marketplace.
The prices for other utility bill components, including taxes and delivery charges, are regulated by the State of New York and are stable. Utility bills reflect both the price of energy and usage.
Visit www.cenhud.com/en/account-resources/rates/winter-energy-bills/ to find the latest information on energy supply prices, including a video from President and CEO Charles A. Freni.
Energy Efficiency and Billing Programs
Customers can help manage energy costs in various ways, such as implementing energy efficiency measures and manage bill impacts by exploring their billing options.
To avoid seasonal variations in energy bills, Central Hudson customers may enroll in the Budget Billing program. Budget Billing divides a household’s average annual energy bill into 11 even monthly payments, with the 12th month’s payment adjusted up or down to reflect actual usage and market prices. This program makes energy bills more predictable and can help in managing household budgets.
Customers may also wish to investigate fixed rate options for electric and natural gas supply offered by Energy Service Companies. Fixed rate options do not necessarily provide the lowest average annual cost but do serve as protection against market volatility and price spikes.
Payment assistance options are also available to qualifying customers. The federally funded Home Energy Assistant Program (HEAP) grants are now available for income-qualified residents. HEAP grant recipients also qualify for Central Hudson’s monthly Bill Discount program.
Central Hudson’s Clean Energy Marketplace provides a resource for customers to learn about renewable energy options. Customers can save up to 10 percent on their utility bill while also investing in local clean energy projects. Residents and businesses may subscribe by visiting http://CleanEnergyMarket.cenhud.com to purchase a portion of the electricity produced by the project of their choice.
Other programs include Deferred Payment Agreements that help customers catch up by paying a past-due account balance in monthly installments, the Extra Security Plan which offers an extended billing due-date for qualified customers on a fixed income and the Good Neighbor Fund which provides last resort grants for families who have exhausted all other means of assistance, Learn more about Central Hudson’s assistance programs by visiting www.cenhud.com/account-resources/assistance-programs/.
Low-cost and no-cost efficiency measures homeowners can take to help manage energy costs include:
- Insulating ducts and hot water pipes where they run through uninsulated areas, such as crawl spaces, and repairing leaks in the duct system;
- Adding insulation, particularly in the attic;
- Turning down thermostats (each degree saves up to three percent on energy use);
- Keeping radiators and heating ducts clear of furniture to allow heat to circulate freely; and/or
- Sealing air leaks with weather stripping and caulk, which can save up to 10 percent on the use of heating fuels.
Central Hudson offers energy efficiency incentives for homes and businesses, including rebates of up to $1,000 on new, high-efficiency natural gas home heating systems, up to $1,600 on electric heat pump systems, $250 on indirect natural gas water heaters and up to $1,000 on high efficiency heat pump water heaters. A complete description of Central Hudson’s rebates and programs is available at www.CentralHudson.com and clicking on “Save.”
Discounted energy efficiency products with instant savings for Central Hudson customers are available at local participating retailers. Available items include LED bulbs, smart thermostats, advanced power strips, water-saving products and more. For a list of participating retailers visit www.CentralHudson.com, click on the “Save” link at the top of the page, then click on “Residential Incentives.”
Customers can contact Central Hudson in a variety of ways, including logging on to http://www.cenhud.com/customer-service/contact-us/ and selecting their preferred form of communication, or by clicking on the green “Chat” tab on the right hand side of the page.
Visit www.CentralHudson.com for more information on winter safety, efficiency incentives, energy saving tips and billing options.
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