The Residential Electricity Cost Roller Coaster #shedidthemath

This winter, we heard from so many homeowners reporting “My electric bill has gone insane?! Can this be right?!”

The winter of 2021-2022 was significantly colder than the winter of 2020-2021 (average January temperature of 20F versus 26F). But that didn’t seem to explain some of the crazy increases we came across (300% more expensive? really?).

Well… let’s find out. 😉

NYSEG publishes the rate for all service classifications on their website. We pulled historical data going back to 2007 for four rate classes:

  1. Residential Standard (12001)
  2. Residential Day/Night (12008)
  3. Non-Residential Demand (12002)
  4. Non-Residential Standard (12006)

And here’s what we found…

Looking at Residential service classes, historically, the Night rates in the Day/Night class have been significantly lower than the Day or standard rates. If the majority of your electricity use were at night, you’d come out ahead by leveraging this rate structure.

In mid-2021, however, both Day and Night rates started rising, and the Day night rose above the Standard rate. At the beginning of 2022, both Day and Night rates skyrocketed above the Standard residential rate, peaking in late January/early February before sharply decreasing.

It’s not clear why this happened – Avangrid, NYSEG’s parent company, blames fluctuations in natural gas prices, but it doesn’t seem that supplying electricity via a Day/Night service class should cost any more than a Standard service class.

No service class is exempt from rising prices, however. The table below shows the average annual electricity supply cost by service class from 2007 to 2021, plus 2022 year to date (YTD). The bottom row shows the percentage increase from the 2021 annual average to 2022 YTD. The smallest increase is a “mere” 41.8% in the non-residential standard service class. The highest increase is an eye-watering 118.7% in the residential night service class.

Here is entire dataset compiled by Sungineer Solar (pretty charts! PivotTables!):

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