When I first moved back to New York in August of 2011, I thought it was really cool that I could choose a "greener" way of receiving my energy. The form to apply for energy service included various options that allowed me to reduce my carbon footprint and I was more than happy to choose service that included such an option. Initially, it was much cheaper, too. That is, until I received a bill in February of 2012 that said all those cheap charges I initially received had to be adjusted and that I would owe upwards of $700 those months. What?? We barely use our lights and I don't have time to cook, I said when I called Con Ed. At that point, they had adjusted even more and figured that I would owe another $500 or so. Fuming, I demanded to understand what had happened and through lots of convoluted talk, I found out that our service had been changed without our knowledge. When I changed our service back to a "greener" service, the charges were much cheaper...EXCEPT for the fact that Con Ed owns the infrastructure that delivers the service. So I might be charged $9 for the gas I use, but over $30 for the DELIVERY of the gas. A $100 electric bill might have a $200 delivery bill, for example.
The last bill I paid out to Con Ed, sent just days ago, was for $377. I live in a very small two-bedroom apartment, mind you, and we never use much electricity and I maybe cook two to three times a week. This morning, I received another bill from Con Ed for the same time period I just paid for, demanding another $150 or so. I've paid for the same time periods about three times. I've paid for the time period between August 2011 and December 2011 about five times. There are always new adjustments they are finding. In the last month, I've received about eight different bills with different amounts owed and different due dates all within a week or so of each other. When I called Con Ed to ask for one simple bill a month, they said they could not do that.
I know this story sounds hard to believe, but what is even harder to believe is that I am not the only person this has happened to and NO ONE is doing anything about it. If you look at the consumer complaints on this website, you will find many similar stories.
Rory of New York City writes, "As a non-US citizen, I wasn't really sure how much an electric bill should be and swallowed the $120/month average bill they were sending me. Bear in mind, I live in a 1 bedroom apartment, I have no TV, no aircon, no heaters and all of my light fixtures even have energy saving light bulbs! I try to be green.
Towards the end of last summer, this bill started rising to close to $200/month at which stage, I really started to question the numbers. My next door neighbor, with basically the same sized apartment told me that they pay around $50/month. When I was finally able to get a meter reading, Con Ed then sent me a new bill claiming that I owed them an extra $830! This would mean I have been using close to $200/month of electricity in my tiny apartment over 4 years."