071108hotcat.jpgPhoto courtesy Occipital Lobe.

Those high natural gas and oil prices have raised the prices for wholesale electricity that Con Ed buys from power-generating companies, and naturally the company is passing those expenses along to us. The company says that residential customers will pay 22% more for electricity this year than they did last summer – almost a quarter of that spike is due to a Bloomberg-approved rate hike.

Harlem flea market vendor Cruz Reyes, told the Daily News the prices are forcing her to live without air conditioning this summer. But aside from that brief June heat wave, the temperature’s been mercifully tolerable. Come August Reyes’s cheapest option may be to unfold a chair outside the open doors of H&M and enjoy the frosty blast out on the sidewalk.