It's not just your imagination; like everything else in this town, freaking electricity costs more than pretty much anywhere else in America. The US Energy Information Administration recently released a report comparing electricity costs across the country, and according to their analysis, New Yorkers on average paid 9.6 percent more for electricity last year, while national electricity rates were mostly flat. Con Ed in particular charges customers, on average, higher rates than anywhere else in the country: 25.85 cents per kilowatt hour, which is more than twice the national average of 11.54 cents. But at least you're paying more to watch Seinfeld reruns in an apartment in THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD!
Con Ed's residential rates are consistently higher than anywhere else, except for utility companies in Alaska, Hawaii, a few islands in New England and a ski resort in California, where the electricity is conducted through tubes filled with champagne. But hey, everything costs more in NYC, and you get what you pay for—you can't expect to get artisanal locally-sourced power delivered lovingly by hand for nothing.
We asked Con Ed why their juice costs so much more than other companies and a spokesman pointed to New York City's taxes and labor costs, which are considerably higher than elsewhere. "Our reliability is top-notch," says spokesman Chris Olert. "We are in one of the financial, media, and fashion capitals of the world and our reliability is second to none. It takes a considerable amount of money to maintain that high quality."
Another interesting factoid about electricity costs in NYC comes from an EIA report this summer which found that NYC "imported approximately two-thirds of its power from outside the city limits in 2010. While the city has generating capacity equal to 80% of its annual peak load, many of these units are operated infrequently because it is usually less expensive to buy power produced outside the city. Transmission lines leading into the city are often congested when the amount of cheaper imported power reaches the limit of the transmission lines."