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Why supply prices increased across the U.S.

Due to several prolonged bouts of extreme Arctic cold across most of the nation this winter, there was record demand in New York state for winter electricity use. Unlike Central Hudson's delivery rates, which are fixed and did not change, free market energy supply prices rise and fall in step with customer demand. Because customer demand spiked at times this winter, there was a corresponding spike in the market supply price of energy.

Central Hudson and other delivery utilities do not control supply prices, nor do we profit from them. The supply portion of our customers' bill payment passes through us and on to the companies that operate the power plants where your electricity is produced.

The two most recent available electric supply charge rates, in effect as of May 13, 2014 and June 12, 2014, are more in line with pricing prior to this spike and are below the 12-month average.

News coverage of the widespread energy supply price spike:
• "Heating fuel expenditures rise this winter" - Dept. of Energy, March 12, 2014
• "Colder weather drives energy use and higher bills as a result" - Central Hudson, Feb. 11, 2014
• "Storm Sends Natural Gas Prices Soaring" - Wall Street Journal, Jan. 21, 2014
• "Arctic blasts create record demand" - USA Today, Jan. 28, 2014

Central Hudson buying practices save customers about $32 million

Before this winter's extreme cold set in, Central Hudson had established hedging contracts accounting for 45 percent of customer electric supply and 50 percent of customer natural gas supply. Because the market supply price of electricity rose so dramatically this winter, these efforts saved customers approximately $31 million in electric supply costs (or about $0.05 per kWh) and about $1 million in natural gas supply costs.

Following guidelines set by the New York State Public Service Commission, we do not hedge all electric supply, as there is the risk that spot market supply prices may actually come in lower than expected. Hedging is incorporated into our energy purchasing plans to ensure some level of price stability for customers rather than leaving it entirely up to spot-market energy supply prices, which are notoriously volatile.

How Central Hudson can help

Budget Billing
As a Budget Billing customer, you'll receive a uniform bill amount for 11 months of the year with a plus-or-minus adjustment in month 12. This helps guard you against the unexpected impact of weather-driven supply price spikes and makes it easier to budget for your energy costs. Learn more and sign up here.
Payment Extension
Request a Payment Extension on our website if you need a little extra time to pay off your balance.
Deferred Payment Agreement
When financial hardship makes it impossible for you to make bill payments, we can work with you to develop a deferred payment agreement, based on your ability to pay. Under a deferred payment agreement, your past-due amount will be paid in monthly installments, while your current bills are also being paid in full and on time. Print and complete the Payment Worksheet which will help us determine your ability to pay. Then call us at (845) 452-2700.
» More payment assistance programs

What you'll see on your utility bill

Usage Summary

The front page of the utility bill explains, at a glance, the electric usage (and, for our natural gas customers, the natural gas usage) for this year (the current billing period) vs. last year (the same billing period one year ago).

Customers will notice generally higher usage numbers for electricity and natural gas this year, as compared to last year, as people had to use more energy to keep their homes warm during the prolonged bouts of arctic cold weather.

Delivery charges cover the expenses to maintain and operate Central Hudson’s electric system. Total delivery charges, in part, are tied to your actual electricity usage. So if you use more electricity in a given period, your total delivery charge will be higher than in a period when you used less.

Electric Delivery Charges

Central Hudson’s electric delivery rates have remained steady and are regulated by New York State. Central Hudson's delivery rates have not increased at any point in 2014 compared to 2013.



Electric Supply Charges

Customers saw an increase in their electric supply charges through the first few months of 2014, compared to utility bills in early 2013. Central Hudson and other delivery utilities do not control supply prices, nor do we profit from them.

The extreme arctic cold across most of the nation this winter led to an enormous demand for energy. Free market energy supply prices rise and fall in step with customer demand. Because customer demand spiked at times this winter, there was a corresponding spike in the market supply price of energy.

Natural Gas Customers
Market price increased
Central Hudson’s natural gas customers will see a similar scenario with their gas delivery charges, which have remained steady, and supply charges, which rose because of higher demand.
Market supply price per 100 cubic ft. of natural gas

Still most affordable
Despite this winter's increase in the market cost of natural gas supply, it remains a substantially cheaper heating fuel compared to oil and propane. 

Fuel price comparison, equal to a gallon of heating oil

Improve your home's efficiency with an energy audit

NYSERDA's Comprehensive Home Energy Assessment, free to most homeowners, includes an on-site inspection performed by a certified Building Performance Institute contractor to help you identify inefficiencies. Following the inspection, you will receive a detailed proposal of recommended upgrades. Learn more.

Proven, simple and effective ways to lower your bill

  • Change your furnace filter each month. Doing so reduces blockages caused by a clogged filter which cuts energy costs and extends the life of your heating equipment.

  • Utilize your curtains. In winter months, open your curtains during the day to naturally heat your home and close them at night to keep the heat inside.

  • Seal leaks. Weatherstrip around your doors and windows to keep warm air from escaping.

  • Wash clothes with cold water. Washing clothes uses a lot of energy, especially if you use warm or hot water. About 90% of the energy is used just to heat the water. To save on water heating costs, wash your clothes in cold water.

  • Replace inefficient light bulbs. Inefficient incandescent bulbs are costly to run and replace in the long term. Use compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs -they use 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer.

  • Keep vents clear. Furniture and carpets can block vents and prevent rooms from warming up or cooling down efficiently. If your home is heated or cooled through vents, move objects away from them to maximize circulation and save energy.

  • Don't heat an empty home. Lower your thermostat when you’re asleep or when your home is unoccupied. A 6-9 degree adjustment can save up to 10 percent per year on your heating and cooling bills!

  • Use power strips. Televisions and other devices use "vampire" power even when they're off. Plug these devices into an easy-to-reach power strip and turn it off when you're not using them, or purchase an advanced power strip.

  • Spotlight your work spaces. Overhead bulbs often use more light than you need. Using a kitchen counter light while preparing dinner or a small lamp when reading a book brings better light to the task at hand and saves energy.

  • Turn off lights when not needed. Help cut electricity costs by turning off lights when they're not needed, and make it a habit every time you leave a room. To help you remember, try leaving eye-catching reminders next to light switches and doorways.

  • Run ceiling fans in reverse. Warm air rises and collects near ceilings. In the winter, you can run your ceiling fan in reverse on a low setting to circulate warm air more evenly. Then lower your thermostat to save on heating costs.

  • Turn off your computer at night. Turning your computer off at night could help you reduce its energy costs by 33 percent. Save even more by plugging your computer, monitor, and other devices into a power strip and turning it off when you're not using them.

  • Shave a minute off shower time. The average American spends about 8 minutes showering roughly once a day. Reducing average shower time by 1 minute can result in 13 percent savings in shower water use and lower your energy and water bills.