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Energy Issues

Publication Date: Summer 2000

READY OR NOT - HERE COMES ELECTRIC CHOICE

Soon, electric choice will come to everyone who buys electricity in New York. The State Public Service Commission is presiding over a phased deregulation of electricity, which began in 1998. Most New York cooperatives and condominiums have preferred to sit out Phases 1 through 3 of this process, but inaction will soon cease to be an option, since power will be available only from independent energy service companies (ESCOs) by the end of 2002. At that point Con Edison will no longer sell electricity, though its transmission lines will continue to be the only way to bring power to your building.

Deregulation was touted as a means of lowering energy prices through competition in an open marketplace. However, Con Edison's high transmission fees left little room for savings until this summer, when huge jumps in rates finally gave certain foresighted ESCOs an opportunity to shine by holding their rates down.

CNYC has followed deregulation from its inception, concerned that its members might have problems with this process. Indeed, many ESCOs have proven reluctant to accept individual units or small buildings as customers, or they have surprised small customers with extra fees. CNYC will continue to keep members advised of opportunities and pitfalls as deregulation progresses. Consult page 5 of this Newsletter for energy conservation opportunities and for the three seminars at CNYC's 20th annual Housing Conference that can help you cope with Electric Choice.

 
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