U.S. Markets close in 5 hrs 15 mins

Con Ed 2012 rates highest of any major US utility

NEW YORK (AP) -- Consolidated Edison's 2012 residential electricity prices were the highest of any major U.S. utility, newly released federal data show.

Con Ed's 2.1 million residential customers in New York City and Westchester County paid an average of 25.65 cents per kilowatt hour in 2012, the data released Friday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration show.

That's more than twice the national average price of 11.88 cents per kilowatt hour.

Con Ed said in a statement that more than 25 percent of the bill consists of government-imposed taxes and fees.

The utility said it runs one of the most complex and reliable electrical-delivery systems in the world, adding, "We invest in that system on an ongoing basis to maintain the reliable service our customers need. At the same time, we aggressively manage our costs to protect our customers — a challenge, since New York is an expensive place to do business."

Con Ed is asking the state Public Service Commission for $450.9 million in rate increases next year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has urged the commission to deny Con Ed the rate increase. "New Yorkers need to get more value for the price they pay for utility service," he wrote in a letter to the commission last month.

Long Island Power Authority customers also paid some of the country's highest rates at 19.03 cents per kilowatt hour last year. LIPA says there will be no rate increase in its 2014 budget.