As winter snow fell, so did Con Edison electric bills

As New Yorkers watch snow fall on the first day of spring, Con Edison said winter bills were lower and demand for natural gas was higher than during last year's winter heating season.

The average monthly gas-heating residential bill (based on average usage of 162 therms a month) was $216, or 23 percent lower than the $279 during the winter of 2013-14.

The average monthly electric bill from November through February for a New York City residence using 300 kWh was $95.42, compared with $102.95 during the same period last winter. That's a decline of 7 percent.

The good news for customers was due to natural gas prices being lower this winter. Gas prices spiked last winter when the Polar Vortex put the freeze on the Northeast. The price of natural gas affects electric bills because gas is the fuel used in the generation of most electricity in New York.

Con Edison does not control the price of natural gas and does not make a profit on the commodity. The company seeks the best price and then provides the gas to customers at cost.

Construction of the Spectra Energy pipeline into Lower Manhattan has made Con Edison's supply of natural gas more robust and saved an estimated $104.4 million in electric costs and $107.1 million in gas costs since the pipeline went into service in November 2013.

Con Edison also provided record amounts of natural gas to its customers this winter. The company sent out 1.68 million dekatherms, an all-time high for one day, on Jan. 13. The seven highest days in company history occurred this winter.

The company set a monthly record in January, providing 44.29 million dekatherms, beating a record set in February 2014. All that gas went to customers and toward the generation of electricity and steam.

The company's natural gas conversion program is contributing to increased demand. Con Edison converted 824 large New York City buildings from No. 4 and No. 6 fuel oil to natural gas in 2014. The company also converted 618 large buildings in the city from No. 2 fuel oil to natural gas.

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