ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Public Service Commission said residents should expect higher electricity prices this summer. The Commission said these prices often depend on demand and weather conditions.

“New York, like every other state, continues to experience higher than normal commodity prices compared to where prices were several years ago, and that is expected to continue throughout the coming summer,” said Commission Chair Rory M. Christian. “Because of an expected increase in generator fuel costs as well as the changes in capacity prices and obligations, residential and commercial customers may experience higher commodity bills this summer than last.”

Officials said there are many factors that are forcing prices higher, most notably higher demand due to the economy and price increases due to international uncertainty regarding energy supplies. The Commission said it is working to mitigate price increases, which includes programs to lower demand.

The Commission also requires utility companies to mitigate erratic prices, which will help ensure price stability for consumers. Overall, the statewide average residential full-service energy rate is expected to be about 12% higher than last summer but may vary depending on the customer’s location.

Officials said this increase is consistent with increases from the last two summers at 11% per year. The Commission said the electric supply price increase can broadly be attributed to the global increase in natural gas prices.

In the summer of 2013, New York State set a record peak load of 33,955 MW. The peak load this summer is forecast to be 31,765 MWs. The Commission said New York has a total of 41,166 MW worth of capacity resources for 2022.

The current peak forecast for 2026 is about 2,000 MW less than its 2016 forecast due to energy efficiency and system improvements. By 2032, the combined effect of the energy efficiency and demand reduction programs are projected to help lower the peak demand by over 6,400 MWs. This would provide significant benefits to consumers and the environment.

Utility companies often offer relief programs for customers. The Commission and other state agencies also have programs to reduce the impact of high utility bills on low-income customers.