12 October O&R: Rising Winter Energy Prices Push Utility Bills Higher October 12, 2022 By Town Clerk . Community News, General 0 Please click HERE to read more about O&R: Rising Winter Energy Prices Push Utility Bills Higher. Related Articles O&R: Heating Prices Rise as the Winter Approaches; Planning Remains the Key to Saving Money, Energy PEARL RIVER, NY Nov. 1, 2021 4:30 p.m. --- Orange & Rockland (O&R) is urging its 130,000 natural gas and its 226,450 electric customers to use energy efficiently this winter with bills projected to be higher than last winter. The increase is due mainly to higher natural gas supply costs for both natural gas and electric customers as natural gas is one of the main fuels that power the production of electricity. O&R does not set supply costs and does not make a profit on the supply. The company analyzes supply and demand forecasts and uses a variety of buying methods, including short-term and long-term contracts, to get the best natural gas prices for its customers. O&R provides the commodity to customers at cost. The cost of natural gas has increased as the demand for the commodity has increased, exports have increased, and severe weather has hindered production in the Gulf of Mexico area. These and other factors have caused a decline in the amount of gas in storage in the United States. Based on comparing the forecasted winter 2021-2022 to the prior three-year average of bills, the following would be the increase: A residential customer using on average 600 kWh per winter month will see an average monthly bill increase from $122.97 to $144.20, or 17.3% as compared to the average of the prior three winters. A residential customer using on average 177 Ccf per winter month will see an average monthly bill increase from $232.52 to $273.92, or 17.8% as compared to the average of the prior three winters. The key to controlling home energy costs is managing usage. That becomes more important with costs rising. To help O&R’s natural gas and electric customers further manage their winter energy costs, O&R offers the following O&R Advises To make natural gas work harder for you, it makes sense to have a qualified heating contractor or plumber clean and inspect your heating system before winter sets in. An efficiently burning heating system not only makes your natural gas dollars go farther, but it’s cleaner and safer. Taking steps to tighten up insulation by using weather-stripping at all attic stairwells and access points and stopping cold air infiltration from electric switch and plug outlets by using draft blockers can also pay off. In addition, double-checking all points where heat enters a room to make sure, draperies, furniture or other obstacles do not interfere with the free flow of heat is a practical, easy way to help. And, you can take advantage of your smart meter by viewing your detailed energy usage and customized energy savings tips located in your online account at www.oru.com to more effectively manage your household energy dollars. Those tips, and other energy conservation and efficiency steps, gain greater importance if extreme cold weather, or other supply factors develop over the winter. What can residential customers do to further control their energy costs? Shop for alternate energy suppliers which may or may not provide you with a cheaper price on energy purchases. For more information about energy shopping, go to www.oru.com and the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) website at www.newyorkpowertochoose.com. In addition, to better manage the monthly utility bill to avoid unpredictable bills that result from seasonal usage variations, sign up for O&R’s Budget Billing program. Budget Billing does not reduce your overall energy expense. It simply lets you spread out your annual energy expense over a 12-month period (with updates every six months) and lets you know ahead of time what your monthly payment will be. That makes managing the household budget much easier. And for convenient shopping for energy-saving household products, it’s hard to beat the My ORU Store www.myorustore.com. It’s a digital marketplace that offers O&R’s residential customers a wide variety of energy-saving household products including LED lights, water/energy saving devices, advanced power strips, smart thermostats and connected home products. The My ORU Store makes saving energy and money, both easy and affordable. For additional information about other energy efficiency and free winter energy saving tips, visit O&R’s website at www.oru.com/save. O&R reminds the public that anyone who smells natural gas should leave the area immediately and call 911 or O&R’s emergency gas hotline at 1-800-533-LEAK (5325). Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies. O&R is a regulated utility that provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company), and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York. ORANGE & ROCKLAND OFFERING ASSISTANCE AS ENERGY MARKET PRICES SURGE 9-9-22 ORANGE & ROCKLAND OFFERING ASSISTANCE AS ENERGY MARKET PRICES SURGE Company Reminds Customers of Payment Options, Budget Billing, Energy Saving Tips, Energy Efficiency Programs PEARL RIVER, NY September 9, 2022, 11:00 a.m. – Orange & Rockland (O&R) is urging customers to take actions now that can help them manage costs this winter as market prices for electricity and natural gas are expected to be substantially higher. Though summer is still winding down, Orange & Rockland, recognizing the hardship high bills can impose, is letting customers know what they can expect for energy costs in the winter of 2022-23 and steps they can take to soften the impact. The company offers Tips for Lowering Your Energy Bill and a number of Payment Plans and Assistance, including Budget Billing, which smooths customers’ costs out throughout the year. The company encourages customers to check out its energy efficiency incentives for upgrades customers make to their homes. Rebates, Incentives, and Tax Credits Utility companies and customers across the Northeast are facing similar circumstances. The increases in customers’ bills are mainly due to increases in the market cost of natural gas, which is volatile and influences electric market costs. The company currently projects that its average residential natural gas heating customer using an average of 158 ccfs per month will pay $337 a month from November 2022 to March 2023, 44 percent more than the average bill of $234 a year earlier. Orange & Rockland buys natural gas and electricity on the wholesale markets and uses a variety of strategies to stabilize pricing for customers. The company does not set supply costs and does not make a profit on the supply. Higher natural gas prices also affect the cost of electricity since power generation plants in the region run mainly on natural gas. A typical O&R residential customer using 600 kWh a month this winter will pay about $174, a 28.8 percent increase over last winter’s $135 based on current projections. The best strategy for Orange & Rockland’s approximately 358,00 NY energy customers is to carefully manage their usage. Customers can save money on energy by using these tips: Set your thermostat at the lowest temperature at which you are comfortable and safe. Whether you are using a gas furnace or an electric heat pump, each degree lower decreases heating costs. Make sure heating vents are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or anything else that could obstruct the flow of heat. Have a qualified contractor clean and inspect your heating system. Insulate hot-water pipes and warm-air ducts that pass through unheated areas. Clean or replace filters for your hot-air furnace and heat-pump. Swap out window shades seasonally. Light-colored window coverings reflect the sun's energy, while darker ones absorb it and release heat. Replace conventional light bulbs with LED bulbs, which are up to 10 times more efficient and are widely available and affordable. The company offers help for customers who are struggling with their bills. Orange & Rockland can put customers on Payment Plans and Assistance, so that they can pay off balances over time, rather than all at once. Orange & Rockland also is implementing the New York State Electric and Gas Bill Relief Program, which the company helped design and propose. Under that program, residential customers who receive qualifying government assistance will receive a bill credit on their past-due balance for service through May 1, 2022. If you are enrolled in Orange & Rockland’s Energy Affordability Program or received Emergency Rental Assistance Program or Home Energy Assistance Program-Regular Arrears Supplement benefits, your bill credit will be processed automatically, and you do not need to take any action. In addition, your service will not be suspended for non-payment while your bill credit is being processed. Customers who receive benefits from certain government programs may qualify for discounts on their monthly energy bills. Orange & Rockland offers information on these and other Payment Plans and Assistance it has available for customers. The company’s information campaign to keep customers informed about winter bills will include press outreach, e-mails, bill inserts, social media postings, conversations with elected officials and other communications. Orange & Rockland also notes that energy costs are changing quickly with significant shifts daily. The company will continue to refine its winter pricing forecast. Natural gas supplies are expected to remain tight this winter, and any disruptions from interstate gas transmission providers could further constrain supplies. O&R remains vigilant in its monitoring of operational conditions. About Orange & Rockland Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), also a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., is a regulated utility. O&R provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company) and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York. As Summer’s Latest Heat Wave Approaches, O&R Reminds Customers of Ways to Save on Bills CUSTOMERS CAN MAKE THIS SUMMER A SEASON OF SAVINGS AS ENERGY COSTS RISE As Summer’s Latest Heat Wave Approaches, Orange & Rockland Reminds Customers Of Programs & Tips to Conserve and Save on Bills PEARL RIVER, NY June 29, 2022 10 a.m. --- As we begin another hot summer season, Orange & Rockland reminds customers they can take advantage of energy savings opportunities in their homes and businesses to cushion against rising costs. The company offers robust energy efficiency programs to help customers stay comfortable and save energy. In addition, Orange & Rockland offers tips where customers can look in their homes and businesses to find energy savings. “Every home and business has the potential to reduce its energy usage,” said Charmaine Cigliano, O&R’s director of Energy Efficiency Programs. “We want to help our customers identify those opportunities, so that they can save money and lower their carbon footprint. Our customers are great partners in our efforts to reduce the amount of energy it takes to power our service area in New York.” Using energy wisely is more important at a time when energy costs are rising across the United States. Customers who conserve during the summer help Orange & Rockland keep its service reliable for everyone. O&R customers can stay cool and save all summer by following these money-saving conservation tips: Set your air conditioner to the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree you lower the thermostat increases costs; Close off rooms that are unoccupied while your AC is running. If you’re in the living room with the AC, close off the other rooms; If you run a business, keep your door closed while the AC is running; To reduce heat and moisture in your home, run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night when it’s cooler outside; When the AC is running, close doors to keep cool air in and hot air out; Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows; Even when using AC, use ceiling and other fans to provide additional cooling and better circulation; Turn off ACs, lights and other appliances when not at home and use a timer to turn on your AC about a half-hour before arriving home; Keep AC filters clean. For this summer, O&R is offering residential and small business customers discounts for buying an eligible smart thermostat and $85 for registering it with O&R's Bring Your Own Thermostat (BYOT) Program. Replacing an old air conditioner with a new efficient heat pump can make your home more comfortable and more efficient, while helping you save on your energy bill year-round. Orange & Rockland is offering incentives for commercial and industrial customers. They include rebates and incentives for making your business more energy efficient, including high efficiency lighting, HVAC upgrades, and custom designed projects. Small and medium-size businesses can get a free, no-obligation energy assessment of their facility. O&R will pay up to 70 percent of the cost for qualified energy saving measures and customers can take advantage of our zero percent financing offer. Customers can follow Orange & Rockland on Twitter or Facebook for general outage updates, safety tips and storm preparation information. Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies. O&R is a regulated utility that provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company), and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York. ORANGE & ROCKLAND IS OFFERING ASSISTANCE AS ENERGY MARKET PRICES SURGE ORANGE & ROCKLAND IS OFFERING ASSISTANCE AS ENERGY MARKET PRICES SURGE. Click HERE to learn more. Winter Utility Bill Programs Available Through NYS Dept. of Public Service Please click HERE to learn more about the Winter Utility Bill Programs Available Through NYS Dept. of Public Service. O&R To Resume Credit and Collection Activity Including Termination of Service for Unpaid Bills O&R To Resume Credit and Collection Activity Including Termination of Service for Unpaid Bills After a pause to allow for the development of the New York Electric and Gas Bill Relief Program, Orange and Rockland (O&R) will resume credit and collection activity today (June 27) for residential customers that are not currently enrolled in a low income energy bill payment assistance program. The credit and collections activity may include the termination of service for past due arrears. The best way for customers to avoid termination of service is to contact O&R at 1-877-434-4100 and make a payment arrangement. As a reminder, customers that are not currently enrolled in one of the low income energy bill payment assistance programs and believe they may qualify, can learn more through our website at Payment Plans and Assistance | Orange & Rockland or by contacting us at 1-877-434-4100. Please contact your local Regional and Community Affairs Manager if you need assistance. Comments are closed.