Roommate power bill shakedowns are projected to be especially passive-aggressive this month ("pls leave a check next to yr Kashi cereal bowl mold structure thx") as Con Ed's electricity rates have shot up to the highest amount in five years.

You may recall that in December, Con Ed vowed not to raise its electricity rates for two years. But the utility tells the Post that it can't control this pricing surge—Con Ed's suppliers have increased the rates and its merely passing on the woe. Indian Point also went off the grid for two days in January, and the Post reports that the price of electricity—which fluctuates on a daily basis—doubled as a result. (New York's gas supply is also constrained due to full pipes and high demand.)

The tabloid speaks to people whose Con Ed electricity bills jumped by 17% and 68%. Think your electricity bill will be lower after switching to an Energy Service Company (ESCO)? You know, those guys in brand new t-shirts emblazoned with logos like "Smart One" and "Columbia" who plop their card tables outside Trader Joe's and ask you if you want to save money?

This blogger (uh oh) was suckered in by Kiwi Energy NY LLC's promises of renewable energy credits, and saw his bill increase by 771% this month. The supply cost for electricity that was 15.8 cents per kWh from late November to late December (for a monthly charge of $5.31) turned into 29.13 cents per kWh through January 30th ($46.28).

Kiwi = fruit/untamed landmass = lots of tiny seeds/luscious forests = healthy = healthy earth/sanctimonious savings. Make sense?

Kiwi's number of complaints is "average," according to the New York State Public Service Commission's website, which is an essential resource if you're thinking about switching. The PSC also has a handy bill explainer [PDF] and a guide for determining whether you might get a better deal from an ESCO, or staying right where you are.

This blogger looks forward to having a chat with Mr. Kiwi over the telephone.