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March 28, 2014 - 4:59pm

Hawley shares ideas on lowering winter energy costs

posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is responding to the extreme spike in electric rates, saying this is further evidence of the need to invest in new, cheaper forms of energy, like natural gas and nuclear energy. The steep rise in electric rates was caused by the increased demand for energy to heat homes during this particularly cold winter. Higher demand without a corresponding rise in supply causes an increase in prices. While energy costs will always rise in the winter, if there had been more energy options to increase the supply, the steep rise in home heating costs may not have been as noticeable.

“Every winter, Western New Yorkers are reminded of the narrow-minded approach our state has to producing energy to heat homes. High energy costs in winter are caused by a lack of options to heat your home,” Hawley said. “Natural gas and nuclear energy provide options that need to be explored so that middle-class families aren’t burdened with extreme home heating costs. We need to put middle-class families first by providing cheaper home heating options.”

Electricity rates are determined by two things; the market for electricity and the cost of delivery. While delivery costs have generally remained constant, the market for electricity can change drastically with supply and demand. Due to the record-breaking winter Upstate New York has experienced, demand for electricity has skyrocketed, and without a corresponding increase in supply, costs go up as well.

Electric consumers who want to do something about their rates can switch to fixed rates offered by some providers. This removes the risk of being hit by rate spikes in winter, but also locks you into the same rate even if prices drop due to low energy consumption. Individual consumers will need to do a cost-benefit analysis to see what works the best for them. Other steps consumers can take include saving energy by unplugging appliances and using compact fluorescent lightbulbs, both of which will reduce energy consumption and lower your bill.

For more information, National Grid has made an online webinar available to anyone who has questions about their rates and how they are calculated. This webinar can be found at https://portal.entermyform.com/packages/index.php?id=VFZSRk5VOVI

C. M. Barons
C. M. Barons's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 6 hours ago
Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 11:56pm

Mr. Hawley would do well to determine WHY if we are so near to the generating plant at Niagara Falls, we STILL have to pay for electricity generated by natural gas and EXPENSIVE nuclear power. Part of the reason that residents of the Village of Bergen have to pay more for power is the surcharge for nuclear-sourced power. When it was forced upon us several years ago it added considerable expense to our rates.

Fred GUNDELL's picture
Last seen: 8 months 5 days ago
Joined: May 29 2008 - 12:59pm

I agree with Mr. Barons. I might add that the Utility Bills in general are very confusing. Try to figure out Therms, MHZ or what ever they measure by. Also many of those alternative suppliers that offer set rates also require long term agreements, with a large penalty for changing before the end of the agreement. Has anyone looked at the bottom of their bill?? There is a small charge of about a dollar, just for them to send you a bill. I think that is a rip off. They also charge us for administrative costs. In other words, a double hit. Can you imagine Walmart billing you so they can bill you?? Write the Public Service Commission in Albany and complain. Don't both with Hawley. I tried that, and still have had no response as usual. Only in New York..

jim luttrell
jim luttrell's picture
Last seen: 1 week 23 hours ago
Joined: Oct 30 2008 - 10:29am

This has to be a mistake -how much more can we have taken from us and still be able to afford to live- going from 129.00 to 580.00 is unbelieveable -how do you budget for that on a fixed income- what is happening to us -do we just except everything like we are puppets . Come on cut us a break! Come back to why this country is great- we need help and its not welfare- they are the only ones that can afford all the chages because they get help- the average working or retired person does not- -

Mark Potwora
Mark Potwora's picture
Last seen: 2 days 5 hours ago
Joined: May 14 2008 - 6:42pm

National grid also gives out grants that we all pay for..
This is coming out of the consumers pocket ....
They just gave 250,000 dollars to a company in Erie county...http://wivb.com/2014/03/27/steel-manufacturer-given-250k-grant/ This is one reason our rates are high that Mr.Hawley forgot to mention

Dave Meyer
Dave Meyer's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 4 2009 - 5:37am

And...fantastic timing by the way. This press release on March 29th.

Ummm.......winter is mostly over. Where were you in November?

Nothing more than a lame attempt for some publicity.

CM is right....why doesn't Mr. Hawley attempt to determine why we don't benefit from the power generated by the plant at Niagara Falls?

william tapp
william tapp's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: May 9 2008 - 8:38am

its mostly corporate greed ,and Hawley could do a better job if he wanted

Scott Blossom
Scott Blossom's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Oct 25 2012 - 11:18pm

The Niagara Power project was for powering NYC, not here. Follow the power lines that cross our county, that is where they go.
Doesn't Mr Hawley support separating NYC.

A therm is 100 cubic feet of natual gas.

Electricity is rated in kilowatt hours. Running a 1000 watt heater for one hour equals 1 kilowatt hour.

Walmart and all other retailers do charge you for the cost of running your checks, credit, and debit cards. You are also charged for admin costs, employee wages, utilities they use, property taxes, etc. They are all included in the pices of their products.

The PSC is its own body, Mr Hawley has no authority over them. He can lobby but thsts about it.

Did anyone know what this winter was going to bring us this year? Does anyone have a clue as to what awaits us this summer? A hot one or a cool one? Flip a coin, maybe you'll get the right guess. So the timing statement is really kind of irrelevent.

Just a few answers to a few questions and food for thought.

C. M. Barons
C. M. Barons's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 6 hours ago
Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 11:56pm

The Niagara Power Project does bear emphasis on NYC. It also supplies Canada. I was around in 1965 when the Great Black Out occurred. It resulted from a glitch at the falls generator and affected the whole state. Bergen was an exception, because the village still had a diesel back-up generator at the time. ...Nevermind that it was 50 Hz instead of 60 Hz; motors incompatible with 50 Hz had to be shut down. Aside from that aside, I was confident that the huge hydro-power plants at James Bay that came on-line in the 1970s and after might allow more of the falls power to stay in New York. I confess I don't know the details of agreements specific to distribution of hydro-power from the falls, but certainly at one time WNY benefited from power generated there. There used to be a feeder that ran parallel to the old West Shore Railroad bed. As for Mr. Hawley's influence on where the power goes, nothing precludes him from asking questions and acting as our advocate in that regard.

Scott Blossom
Scott Blossom's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Oct 25 2012 - 11:18pm

CM, has I said, he can lobby the PSC.

Canada does get power power because half of the project is on their side of the border.

West and North Shore lines used to have small feeders. Not a lot of capasity, was "deemed" not economical to maintain or upgrade.

The 1965 blackout affected more than just New York State. It was human error, an improperly set safety relay tripped at a station between the power project and Queenston Ontario. It unbalanced the grid, sending surges creating cascade overloads. Parts of Ontario in Canada and Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey were affected. Buffalo and Niagara Falls were isolated and had power from the Robert Moses power station, the Amercian side of the Project.

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