July 18, 2007
Analysis: New York's electricity prices 66 percent above national average
The cost of electricity in New York State grew 12 percent between March 2006 and March 2007, more than twice the national average cost increase, a new analysis of Energy Information Administration data by the Public Policy Institute shows.
The new data show that New York's overall electricity costs are the nation's fourth highest, 66 percent above the national average.
The average price per kilowatt hour across all sectors (industrial, commercial and residential) increased from 12.99 to 14.54 in the one-year period, the analysis shows. Nationally, prices increased 5 percent on average, from 8.39 to 8.77.
The analysis found that New York's commercial consumers of electricity paid 14.77 cents per kilowatt hour in March – the fourth highest price in the country and 59 percent above the national average of 9.35.. The price for commercial users increased 16 percent between March 2006 and March 2007. Nationwide, commercial prices rose 4 percent.
Consumers in the industrial sector also paid more than the national average in March. At 8.47, industrial consumers in the Empire State paid the 12th highest price in the country.
New York's residential customers paid the fourth-highest price for electricity in March 2007. Residential customers paid 16.59 in March, a 5 percent increase from the previous year and 62 percent above the national average.
The Business Council has argued that New York's high electricity costs are pushed up in part because New York State does not have the surplus of generating capacity needed to bid down prices.
In a July 12 op-ed in the Albany Times Union, Business Council President Kenneth Adams argued that New York State needs to substantially increase its electricity-generating capacity, and that state lawmakers should return to Albany as soon as possible to seek a compromise on a new law to expedite the siting of power plants.
A table showing average electric prices by state is available through the Public Policy Institute's online compendium of key economic and social indicators, Just the Facts, at www.ppinys.org/reports/JustTheFacts.html.