Electric bills more than double for local business

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 5:24 PM EDT
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TOWN OF PHILADELPHIA, New York (WWNY) - Usually it’s the heating that takes a bite out of your budget. But with warmer weather here, utility companies are telling customers higher energy prices are here to stay.

At North Country Store, a deli in the town of Philadelphia, the cost of refrigerating meats and cheeses has skyrocketed this year.

“The cost of groceries is already going up. I mean, everything I’m buying, I’m looking at a 20 to 50% increase,” said store manager Matthew Montroy.

He says his business is feeling the pain from inflation from all angles, including his electric bills.

“They went from a little over $900 to over $2,000,” he said.

Montroy has managed to bring that bill down a bit by choosing a different energy supplier. But as things heat up this summer, he knows he will be paying more to keep things cool.

“We got our air conditioners running, plus we’ve got all these coolers that are running a lot more because you’ve got to maintain the temperatures in your coolers,” he said.

Montroy says it’s a fine line to walk. He wants to keep his electric bill down, but he can’t cut back on the energy he uses to keep the cold cuts cold. He says his staff is careful to conserve energy.

“One thing we like to do is making sure that we have proper seals on the coolers and stuff like that,” he said.

National Grid suggests customers use updated appliances, which are more energy-efficient, only run full loads of laundry and in the dishwasher, set your refrigerator to 38 degrees, and minimize the number of times the door opens.

Montroy says another issue he’s seeing is finding labor to fix appliances when they break down. He says some companies have gone out of business and he has to pay more when a company travels there from Syracuse.

Montroy says he and other small business owners are trying to keep prices as low as possible for their customers, but that’s becoming a very difficult task.

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