Why gas meter prices are skyrocketing again
New York City has become a magnet for consumers and retailers looking for ways to get the most out of their gas meter, with the average price of a meter rising 15 percent over the past year.
Here are the big changes and what to do if you need to save more.
The price of the gas meter has climbed more than 15 percent for consumers in Manhattan, according to data from the New York Gas and Electric Co., a publicly traded utility.
“When I buy my gas from the gas station, I can’t see the price, because the meter isn’t showing it,” said Jessica Furlong, a 24-year-old from Staten Island.
“I know if I see the meter price, I’ll save, but that doesn’t happen often.”
A New York State Assembly committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would require gas meters to be prominently displayed, which would be phased in over time.
The bill also calls for an independent regulator to monitor the meter and report back to the state on the accuracy of the information.
New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo (D) has pledged to veto the bill, arguing that it doesn’t go far enough to ensure that consumers don’t get cheated.
At the same time, Cuomo has been pressuring gas companies to make their meters more accurate.
Last week, he sent a letter to several of the largest gas stations urging them to increase their meter accuracy by 30 percent, which will cost about $3.5 million annually.
But while the industry is eager to improve its technology, the cost of gas will always be high, and even a 30 percent increase in accuracy can be challenging.
A study commissioned by Cuomo’s office found that a meter error can cost the average gas consumer between $2,400 and $3,300 a year.
And it is a fact that can be difficult to gauge, because there are no state requirements for gas meters.
Gas prices have also risen more than 30 percent over that time period, with gas prices averaging $2.93 per gallon in 2016.
A recent report from GasBuddy found that average gas prices in the city averaged $3 a gallon in 2018, with most of that increase coming from higher-priced gas.
The average price for a regular gas-powered vehicle rose from $3 per gallon to $4.06 per gallon, and the average for a hybrid car rose from more than $4 per gallon down to $2 per gallon.
For consumers who have a household income of $125,000 or less, the price of gas has increased by $2 a gallon since 2014, according the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
In some parts of New York, there have been price hikes that have gone on for months, but many gas stations have been open and working.
In Brooklyn, which has the largest number of gas stations in the state, prices have increased by more than 100 percent over those months.
To help lower gas prices, New York’s governor is considering increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and he is also looking at legislation that will require consumers to pay a penalty for exceeding their monthly energy-saving limits.