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Aug. 3, 2020
New York is one of the highest populated states in the United States, with an annual electricity production of 135.8 terawatt-hours, or 3% of the national average. The majority of that electricity comes from nuclear power, followed by natural gas and hydroelectric power, among other renewable sources. The state currently plans to turn NYC and the greater state area into a carbon-free region by 2040, generating all of its required power via carbon-neutral means. Here’s how the New York electricity market works, as well as how you can save on your energy bill, and get the best electricity rates.
Almost all of New York State's electricity production is from nuclear energy, natural gas, and hydroelectric sources. Additionally, the state plans to generate its total energy requirement via renewable energy by 2040. This applies to all major and minor New York State regions, including Rochester County, New York City, Westchester County, and more.
All New York residents (business and residential customers) receive electricity bills that are divided into two categories – supply and delivery charges.
The supply charges include the cost of generating and supplying power, and are charged by kilowatt-hour (kWh) per month. The charge is different for the multiple retail energy providers throughout the state. The primary cost difference is between the Standard Offer Service (SOS) and multiple retail electric suppliers (RES). Any additional supply charges can be avoided if you register with one of the retail electric companies.
The delivery services are provided by the utility company you sign up with. In New York, you can choose between Consolidated Edison (Con-Ed), Orange & Rockland Utilities, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, and New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) as your local utility company. The delivery cost consists of the distribution and transmission charge, Combined Public Benefits (CPB) charge, customer service charge, and the Competitive Transmission Assessment (CTA) charge.
You can learn more about New York’s energy rates here.
The state of New York deregulated the electricity industry in 1996. Since then, individual energy providers have started to compete via competitive rates, electricity plans, greater energy efficiency, as well as repair and maintenance services. Currently, suppliers are governed by the local Public Service Commission (PSC).
New York residents can register with an independent retail energy provider for their home energy needs. However, if a resident does not register with an independent supplier, the default energy service company for the region automatically starts electric supply as Standard Service.
The New York State Public Service Commission regulates all energy suppliers, as well as the Standard Offer Service provided by your energy service provider. This is in case you don’t immediately choose a supplier.
Currently, there are four independent energy providers that cater to the New York State area and fall under the regulatory policy of the Public Service Commission. If you don't sign up with a retail energy company, the state will automatically start providing utility services at the Standard Offer. The Standard Offer is your ‘Price to Compare.’ You can use the Price to Compare to see which supplier offers the best utility rates in their area.
All New Yorkers can choose from the multiple electric rates and plans offered by the four local suppliers, based on their rates and customer service, among other factors. You can search and shop for the best prices, but remember to read the fine print, check for any hidden fees, and/or escalating rates.
Alternatively, you can use Arbor’s free TrueRate Protection service to automatically find and switch to the best New York electricity rate in your area.
Arbor scans the market and gives you the best rates you can get in your service area. When your term is expiring, Arbor finds the best rate and switches you again. You always pay the best rate and never have to worry about overpaying for electricity ever again.
You can also use the free savings calculator to find out how much you could save in each case.
Each utility supply company offers different plans, as well as plan lengths and electricity prices. You can change your electricity supplier at any time.
Transferring to another supplier is easy. All you have to do is get a copy of your recent electricity bill, find out which company supplies your electricity, and check the cost per energy usage to find out your current rate.
You can use Arbor to find out what the best rate in your area is by using our free savings calculator.
Once you have your supplier and their current rates, you can then compare your current energy supply rate with those offered by other suppliers, and sign up online or over the phone.
Furthermore, different energy suppliers may offer different types of plans.
These are the three plan options you have to choose from in New York:
Fixed-Rate Plans: A fixed plan requires you to pay the same rate throughout your plan duration. Fixed-rate plans are highly stable and you can choose from several rate structures. We recommend fixed-rate plans because they minimize risk and provide price certainty. But be careful; when your term expires, your rate becomes variable and can go up without notice. Arbor automatically keeps you on the best fixed-rate plan, so you don’t have to worry about rate hikes at the end of your term.
Variable-Rate Plans: These plans depend on the price fluctuations in the energy market. Your supply costs can change every month, depending on variation in the general utility market. Variable-rate plans are not stable but can yield low seasonal rates.
Indexed-Rate Plans: These plans are priced according to the value of a related variable, such as a publicly-traded index. An index could be anything, from the closing price of an electricity futures contract to the free nights and/or weekends you get with a 'time-of-use' plan. Indexed-rate plans are complex and very variable. Customers are recommended to carefully read the terms of such a plan before choosing it.
You can choose a plan that's better for your current financial state and spending capacity. Many plans may ask for an initial deposit. All the plans available through Arbor never require a deposit.
As a New York resident, your energy choice options are limited. However, you do have a few competitive options. You have to choose the best supplier by checking which energy plan works best for you, and then compare the rates on that plan with the Price to Compare (or your current supplier’s rate).
You can then check which electric choice offers the most savings on your bill, and decide accordingly.
You can also find out how to understand and pay your electric bill yourself. However, utility billing can get complicated, which is why people trust Arbor to manage their electric utility services for them. This lets them avoid unnecessary service interruptions and pay the best electricity rate available in New York.
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