Attorney General Letitia James has set her sights on Con Edison after the energy company unexpectedly raised prices this winter, with some customers seeing their rates double.

Assistant Attorney General Kate Matuschak, a top official in the attorney general’s Consumer Fraud and Protection Bureau, criticized Con Edison in a letter sent Monday for nearly tripling the prices in January compared to December. Consumers, the letter said, received no notice of the increased costs.

“Hardworking New Yorkers shouldn’t have to make sacrifices to keep the lights on or to stay warm during the coldest months of the winter,” James said in a separate statement. “My office is calling on Con Edison to explain the unexpected increases in last month’s bills that affected thousands of New Yorkers. We are also demanding that the company communicate rate increases early on so New Yorkers know what to expect when they open their energy bill.”

What You Need To Know

  • Attorney General Letitia James demanded an explanation from Con Edison after consumer rates skyrocketed in January

  • In a letter to Con Edison, James requested details of anticipated price hikes for the next year

  • Her office also asked for a commitment from Con Edison to better communicate price hikes with their consumers

  • James called for Con Edison to give consumers a month's notice for rate increases of more than 15%

James also asked for details from Con Edison of anticipated rate increases for the next year, a commitment from the energy provider to better communicate significant price hikes, and a promise to remind consumers about the deferred payment agreements and bill assistance programs available. Specifically, James called for a one month advance notice for rate increases of more than 15%.

"We are reviewing the letter and look forward to a dialogue with the Office of the Attorney General," Con Edison said in a statement Monday. "While supply costs and weather related increases in energy use are outside of our control, we do control our billing process and are looking to mitigate future supply cost volatility for our customers. We also offer energy-saving tips, energy efficiency programs that help customers save, and assistance for customers who have fallen behind on their bills."

Before the January spike in prices, Con Edison asked the state to raise electric bills by 11.2% and gas bills by 18.2% in 2023. The move would create $1.2 billion in electric revenue and $500 million in gas revenue, according to Con Edison. The company claimed the new revenue would help update its gas and electric delivery systems, including investments into renewable energy for electric vehicles and clean heat systems.