Monday, March 24, 2014

High Monthly Electric Bills Worrying Roosevelt Island Manhattan Park Residents - Building Agent Grenadier Realty Says Cold Weather Only Part Of Explanation For Increased Costs

Understanding Your Con Ed Electricity Bill from NY Times

Have you experienced a large increase in Con Ed electricity bill for your Roosevelt Island apartment recently? Some Manhattan Park residents answer yes. Earlier today, Manhattan Park building management sent the following notice to their residents concerning increases in monthly electricity charges:
Notice to 10, 20, 30, 40 River Road Residents

Re: Electricity Charges

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As you are aware properties serviced by Consolidated Edison, including Manhattan Park, have experienced an unexpected and significant increase in monthly electric charges. However, there may be some misconceptions about the causes of these increases.

Management and ownership are concerned about the impact of these rates on our residents as well as our own electric charges for the Property’s common area. We purchase electricity directly from Con Ed at a bulk rate, which is cheaper than the rate that would be charged to individual residents by Con Ed on a direct meter. The Con Ed billing then is passed on to residents based on submetered individual unit usage. We are prohibited from making a profit on submetering by applicable legal requirements, but we are permitted to charge an administrative/service fee. It is important to point out that our submetering authorization policies and procedures have been approved by the New York State Public Service Commission (the “PSC”).

The Northeast has had an extremely cold winter, exacerbated by what is called a polar vortex. As a result, demand for heating has been very high. The cold weather, however, only tells part of the story of the increased electric bills. Con Ed recently significantly increased their billing by 54%+ in January, purportedly because of its increase in costs of purchasing electricity, that Con Ed passes on to its customers.

These increases are not unique to Manhattan Park, but rather apply broadly to Con Ed customers and would have been even higher if Manhattan Park did not purchase electricity at Con Ed’s bulk rate.

According to a March 7, 2014 article in the Albany Times Union, New York State regulators, including the PSC, have formally requested the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to investigate the reasons for these increases. We intend to monitor the FERC complaint closely and will consider involvement to the extent it would be productive. For your information, a copy of this article is enclosed.

Finally, we would like to remind all residents to review the annual Home Energy Fair Practices Act (HEFPA) Notice that was distributed to the Tenants and the HEFPA Submeter Rider attached to all leases, which provide for a billing dispute resolution process that was required by and approved by the PSC, and also calls for a level billing option if requested by a resident or a deferred payment agreement based on a means/needs test on the terms provided therein.

High electric bills are of great concern to our residents, as well as to us. We are taking all necessary steps within our power to support the efforts to reduce electric costs. We will share useful information about these efforts with our residents.


Grenadier Realty Corp. as agent for

Roosevelt Island Associates
A group of about of about 20 Manhattan Park 2-4 River Road residents recently met with with a representative of NY State Senator Jose Serrano to express their concerns about the recent high electricity bills and fears that they would be evicted from their apartment for not being able to afford the increases. The Serrano representative said that his office would look into the matter.

More on Manhattan Park electricity charges from previous posts and here's September 2013 Manhattan Park submetering filing with the Public Service Commission.


YetAnotherRIer said...

The biggest problem with Manhattan Park is the electric heat. This got to change somehow because electric heat is the most inefficient way to heat up an apartment. The large windows and the metal window frames are not helping either.

That said, I thought the flyers that were posted all around Manhattan Park about the drastic increase in electricity charges were ridiculous. They were not signed and blamed MP management for making a profit etc. etc. Such childish behavior.

I am glad that the state is going to look into this, though, because in the long run these electricity prices are not affordable and make living in MP during long and hard winters impossible for most. Maybe the price hike will force MP management's hands and look into alternative heat sources. There is hoping.