As summer temperatures come to an end, New Yorkers have only weeks before they pull out their sweaters, turn up the thermostat, and prepare for the winter toll on their wallets.
A recent study showed that nearly a third of U.S. households struggle to pay energy bills each year, with some households keeping their homes at unsafe temperatures to avoid paying higher electricity costs.
New Yorkers have some of the highest energy taxes in the country, thanks to the addition of state fees and taxes that make up about 25 percent of each bill. According to the Public Policy Institute of New York State, New Yorkers pay about $3.4 billion each year in hidden fees and taxes on their energy bills.*These statistics are taken from a 2010 study conducted by New York AREA.
Despite annual amendments to the state budget over the past decade, New York has yet to alleviate ratepayers from the Gross Receipts Tax; the “temporary,” but thus far permanent, 18-a surcharge; the System Benefits Charge; and the Renewable Portfolio Standard and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard surcharges.
Until these changes can be made, New Yorkers will face a harsh reality as winter approaches – both in their homes and their wallets.