Coldest Weather of Season Sends New York Power Over $1,000

After a surprisingly mild beginning to winter, tourists bundle up as they walk around in Times Square in New York on Jan. 4.

Photographer: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

The coldest temperatures in New York City since last spring sent wholesale power prices in the East on Tuesday rocketing to over $1,000.

Biting cold in the Eastern U.S. powered demand for electricity to heat houses and businesses. The temperature in New York’s Central Park was 17 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 8 Celsius) at 10 a.m.; the day’s norm is 38, according to AccuWeather Inc.

“Cold temperatures across the Northeast are causing higher-than-expected demand for electricity, which generators are struggling to cover,” Ben Chamberlain, a Boston-based power market analyst for Genscape Inc., said in an e-mail. “This has caused high energy prices across much of the Northeast U.S., especially in N.Y. state.”

Spot wholesale power for Manhattan and its four neighboring boroughs spiked by $1,157.88, to average $1,172.75 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, compared with $14.87 during the same hour Monday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

Power in the Boston market jumped $69.91 to average $95.27 a megawatt-hour.

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