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Electric shock

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
February 27, 2014 2:13:23 PM PST
Open your electric bill recently? I suggest sitting down when you do.

Mine was about double what it normally is in the winter. Okay everyone, let's start turning off the lights please. That was my barked command (okay, okay, I'm just a dad? I don't bark commands; I make on-bended-knee-pleas), until I asked a few other people in my building. Sure enough, they too had huge hikes in their bills this month. So I called the company that manages my building. Yes, others had complained. No, they didn't know why the bills were so high. Yes, they'd look into it.

What resulted was a cockamamie explanation from the company in charge of reading our building's meters. "The spike," they wrote today, "is across New York City and the entire Northeast section of the U.S. ?.. Cold temperatures across much of the country have caused electricity prices to increase 5 to 15 times their recent averages."

Charming, right? Aren't these prices regulated?

And our management company added to the confusion and frustration by trying to explain that "electricity prices trade via the day ahead and real time markets in each utility zone?."

Silly me. All these years I thought rates were regulated by a public utility commission. Now we learn that in fact the rates fluctuate like, say, the price of peanut butter, or milk?

So what's really going on here? Are we really in for an expected long-term increase in our energy bills? Tonight at 11, we dig for answers.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast (and who knew this is suddenly costing us more money?), and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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