Southern Brooklyn

Sandy Victims Hit With Huge Electric Bills From Electric Heaters

Photo By Erica Sherman

Brighton Beach was hit as hard as any other coastal community ravaged by Superstorm Sandy and local residents are still feeling the effects of its destruction in the form of expensive electric bills, according to a report by CBS NY.

Since Sandy came ashore late last October, amazingly, many residents of Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay and elsewhere are still without heat. To stay warm in these harsh winter months, people have substituted working heat with electric space heaters, many of which were given out by Red Cross, FEMA and other disaster support groups.

As a consequence, their electric bills have skyrocketed, punishing the pocket books of people just trying to stay warm.

CBS NY tracked the plight of the residents of 601 Brightwater Court. After Sandy, the heat was knocked out of the building and the city distributed electric space heaters to keep elderly couples like Pavel Gertsman and his wife warm.

While the heaters were welcome, the increased electric bills topping out at an extra $150 a month, were not. Their plight was relayed through Brighton Beach Business Improvement District Executive Director Yelena Makhnin:

“They’re on a fixed income with $1,100 family, and the difference in $150, it makes those people choose between food and Con Edison bills,” Makhnin said.

She said the Gertsmans have health problems and cannot afford the huge bill.

Con Ed spokesman Bob McGee said the utility is forbidden by law from reducing the Gertsman’s bill.

For his part, McGee suggested that people unable to pay their bills as a result of Sandy could try reaching out to non-profit organizations like the Red Cross.

Other options include contacting the city’s Human Resources Administration, which has federally funded home energy assistance programs. You can visit their website by clicking the link above or call them at (800) 692-0557.

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  1. They can also try panhandling, pickpocketing and shoplifting..
    Wait until the rate hikes go through.

    Another heartless bureaucrat that would bring a smile to an old, twisted woman like Bloomberg’s withered face.

  2. I’m actually having issues with National Grid, and my bills have skyrocketed since Sandy. The number of therms used that I’m being billed for seems insane. I can’t figure how my usage during Sandy was higher than the same time period last year, given that I was without heat (although I had hot water) for a few weeks, then entirely out of the apt for another week (FEMA hotel). Then the month following that, my therm usage virtually tripled, from the same time period in the previous year. I’m in a one bedroom condo — it’s not possible that these meter readings are correct! They are actual, but read remotely.

  3. The way people are being treated is outrageous and if there was a local politician in charge that gave two shits about the citizens he serves instead of kickbacks and bicycles. this wouldn’t be happening on such a grand scale. The monopolized utility companies are no better. I am reminded of the allstate commercial where

    Dennis Haysbert talks about a young college woman just starting out who is on a budget and is forced to eat ramen noodles every night. Why? Because everything cost ridiculously high amounts. But what do these fools care? Everyone can go f**k themselves and drop dead. Bunch of crooks that can get away with anything. Will Bloomberg do anything to rectify this situation? Nope. He’s too busy fighting for a styrofoam and soda ban, new lowercase street signs and more bike lanes.

  4. This is really disgusting. Last month my usage was 459kWh. This month it is 418kWh. A decrease which reflects the fact that my son went back to college and yet my bill is almost $20 higher. When i looked over my bill I noticed coned increased the supply charge from 6.18c/kWh to 13.83c/kWh. They’re charging summer rates in the middle of the winter. Where’s the law on the books “forbidding” them from screwing the public.

  5. I was billed a hugely inflated estimated bill for the entire month that we didn’t even have power!! Still fighting with aptly named CON Edison! They insisted we had to pay ..then IF we were were due a refund they would apply it. After over a month without power we don’t want to be without again what choice do we have? Our poor neighbors actually got a bill for over 10,000 for a month service, don’t know how that worked out for them, I know we had to pay ours.

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