National Grid electric bills will be higher in May: The Real Deal

Published 05/03 2014 11:28PM

Updated 05/03 2014 11:53PM

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - National Grid electric customers across the northeast are still experiencing high energy bills thanks to the record-breaking cold this winter.

Some relief is on the way, but it's not as soon as many hoped for.

Here's the good news, there is a method to this high-energy bill madness. 

The bad news is your bill this May will be going up.  

National Grid tells NewsChannel 9 the typical residential customer's bill will be around $100 this month.

Here's why: Monthly bills are based on the electricity forecast set at the end of the previous month. Forecasts that are too high or too low are either credited or charged on a two-month lag. An example: Central New York had an extremely cold January. The impact of that record-breaking cold resulted in higher electricity prices than what was forecasted.

But that spike was not seen on January bills, but rather on March bills.\

National Grid says no matter how you slice it, customers bills reflect the whiplash of one of the coldest winters on record.

"The last two years have been relatively mild. This year, we have seen a tremendous spike in terms of those volatile temperatures. We've had those sub-zero sustained cold temperatures for longer periods perhaps in previous years," says Virginia Limmiatis, National Grid spokesperson.

Now typical residential customers using 600 kilowatt-hours per month had a March bill of $130 dollars.

That dropped to about $75 dollars in April. Why? Because February electricity prices were slightly lower than forecasted. 

For May, again, the typical customer's bill will be about $100 dollars this month because as you remember, Central New York experienced record-breaking cold in March, two months ago. 

*National Grid says this extra charge or credit on your bill is called "ESRM," or electricity supply reconciliation mechanism. It's a mechanism that reconciles electricity supply revenues for the month to the market cost of electricity purchased by the company. Costs in excess of revenues are collected from customers and revenues in excess of costs are credited. For most residential and small general non-demand service, the ESRM includes the cost of benefit of hedging contracts the Company entered into on their behalf.

For more information on the ESRM on your bill, click here.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.