ConEd grievances

One of the worst things about moving into our new apartment was having to deal with Con Edison, the crappy monopoly of an electricity and gas provider, again. While living on the Upper East Side, we paid a flat amount for electric and gas to our landlord, so we were completely oblivious to all the fluctuations, especially in the summer when we’d have the air conditioning on a lot. It was a really nice perk to not have to deal with yet another bill to pay, yet another provider to gauge us for money when we have literally zero other options to choose from.

So I was pretty mad when I received my bill for electricity late last month to find that it was 25 percent higher than what we paid for the average summer bill. That made zero sense. Why would the bill be higher during the winter than during the summer when gas, which provides us heat, is supposedly covered by our rent? Our building manager told me that they pay for the gas that provides the heat, but we pay for the unit that circulates that heat through the apartment. That still should mean that the bill should be higher during the summer than during the winter. And the bill breakdown was the stupidest: it said something to the effect of, “your bill is higher than average. Three percent can be attributed to weather changes, and 20 percent can be attributed to ‘miscellaneous.'” What the heck does “miscellaneous mean?

I called ConEd to speak with one of their service representatives, who basically told me that our bill is anticipated to be higher during the winter due to using our heat. We do not pay for gas in our building, I said to him. That makes no sense. You can see it right there in the bill — electricity only. I told him the inane breakdown on the actual bill, which contradicted what he literally just said, and he insisted it was correct. “Ms. Wong, we double checked your meter. Your bill is correct. Do you have any other questions for me?” I wanted to strangle the guy.

I just don’t get how people in services roles can be so flippant and incompetent. I work in a services role at a technology company, and if I operated that stupidly, I’d be out of a job.

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