The natural gas supply price for Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. customers will fall slightly to 72 cents per 100 cubic feet (ccf), effective July 1, down from 77 cents per ccf in June. While the use of natural gas by homes and residents is typically lower during summer months, supply prices stated on bills and overall bill impacts will vary for individual customers depending on their billing cycle and energy usage.
Energy supply prices, which are accounted for in the supply portion of customers’ bills, are market-based. Central Hudson does not mark-up or 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 wholesale 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.
State Regulators Warn of Higher Energy Prices this Summer
Despite the slight drop in natural gas supply prices this month, analysts are calling for higher energy prices this summer. The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) recently announced that while the State is prepared to meet the increased demand for electricity this summer, it anticipates supply costs to increase. The PSC is attributing this increase in energy supply costs to a number of factors, including higher summer energy demand, ongoing economic recovery and international uncertainty surrounding energy supplies. Click here to read the PSC’s full announcement.
Similarly, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which oversees the State’s wholesale electric energy grid, issued a report explaining domestic and international factors contributing to higher energy costs in 2022. Click here to read the NYISO’s report.
To find the latest information on energy supply prices, including a video from President and CEO Charles A. Freni, visit www.cenhud.com/en/account-resources/rates/winter-energy-bills/.
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.centralhudson.com/assistance.
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;
- In the summer, turning up thermostats (each degree saves up to three percent on energy use);
- Keeping ducts clear of furniture to allow cool air to circulate freely;
- Changing filters on air conditioning equipment;
- Sealing air leaks with weather stripping and caulk, which can save up to 10 percent on electricity use; and or
- Closing drapes or blinds during the day to block the sun’s rays, and using fans to keep cool.
Central Hudson offers energy efficiency incentives for homes and businesses, including rebates for electric heat pump heating and cooling systems, $1,000 on high efficiency electric heat pump water heaters, $250 on indirect natural gas water heaters, and $1,800 on natural gas combi-boilers. A complete description of Central Hudson’s rebates and programs is available at www.CentralHudson.com/Incentives
Discounted energy efficiency products with instant savings for Central Hudson customers are available at local participating retailers. Available items include LED bulbs, smart thermostats, water-saving products and more. For a list of participating retailers visit www.CentralHudson.com/ShopLocal.
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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Supply prices are variable and are subject to market forces. Central Hudson hedges energy supply purchases to help dampen market volatility.