PORT HENRY, NY - Some people in New York got quite the shock this past week when they opened their electric bill. Some National Grid customers say it doubled.
For Port Henry, New York's Maureen Hanson, it wasn't the electricity that shocked her this month, it was the bill. It nearly doubled.
"At first when I opened the bill, I thought, well, the cold weather really hit us,” said Maureen Hanson.
In a way, she's right. Hanson's electricity is supplied by National Grid. The company is blaming the increase on colder temperatures in November and December and higher supply costs. It’s an increase that's affecting all of New York state.
"One individual went from $300 a month for electric heat, to almost $800,” said Tom Scozzafava, an Essex County Board Supervisor.
Scozzafava has been a sounding board for frustrated customers looking at bills at least 50% higher than normal.
"I contacted National Grid and asked for an explanation and as much as everybody wants to beat up National Grid, they're not really at fault here,” said Scozzafava.
The average wholesale market price for electricity went up 53% over the past few months. A company like National Grid, which purchases power and doesn't generate it, passes that increase directly on to the customer.
"There's a lot of people in this town that don't have the advantage that we do and I don't know how they're going to pay it. They're not going to be able to keep warm,” said Maureen Hanson.
We also spoke to Green Mountain Power on Wednesday to find out what Vermont customers should expect. Reps told us they purchase power on a more long-term basis. Their prices aren't as affected by the marketplace and in turn, they are not anticipating any increases.