What is a Con Edison System Benefits Charge?
After years of working with businesses in New York City to undertake energy efficiency projects, we often find our clients are shocked when they learn they have already paid for most of the project before they have even started. It might sound strange, but before you leave the page, hear me out. Every month, on every electricity bill, New Yorkers, often unknowingly, pay a portion of their bill into a “System Benefits Charge.” According to your Con Edison bill, a system benefits charge, “recovers costs associated with clean energy activities conducted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and energy efficiency programs implemented by the company.”
While this might sound confusing, it shouldn’t be. In English, the System Benefits Charge on your electricity bill does two things:
1. It funds research and development activities for NYSERDA to improve the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programs
2. Creates a pool of money that energy users in New York can use to help finance energy efficiency projects.
Despite being commonly unknown, the System Benefits Charge has been a fixture of electricity bills in New York for almost 20 years and has been widely praised as a sweeping success.
So what does this mean for you?
In a word? Savings. The system benefits charge allows individuals, residents, and businesses to undertake large energy efficiency projects at a fraction of their normal cost. In some cases, this means that you can apply and get a free smart thermostat installed in your home. Other times, it means you can receive as much as a 70% discount on a lighting retrofit, which can cost thousands. Every year these incentives and rebate programs are published on Con Edison’s website for New Yorkers to take advantage of. At Phoenix Energy Group, we help our clients to navigate these rebate programs and find the best deals for them.
Why is there a System Benefit Charge?
Originally, the System Benefit charge was created to help manage the strain placed on New York’s electric grid by the large number of residents in the city. Today, that still holds true. It is estimated that between 2010 and 2040, almost 1 million new residents will move to New York City, and that means even more strain on the grid and higher delivery prices (Source). But recently, a new importance has arisen: Climate Change. When it comes to combating climate change and reaching a sustainable future, society must attack the problem from two angles:
1. We must begin using renewable resources
2. We must use less energy
This means, the more we reduce our energy usage, the more sustainable we become. The System Benefits Charge helps the problem by providing New Yorkers with large incentives to use less energy.
What Should You Do Now?
Call a Phoenix Energy Group Rep! At Phoenix, we have years of experience assisting businesses and residents to save money on their bills and implement efficiency projects. If you have any questions on how to save on your electricity bill, live more sustainably, or have your business operate on renewable energy, call a Phoenix Energy Rep today.