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RG&E billing issues persist: Customers want better answers on why bills are skyrocketing without warning

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

RG&E customers are frustrated.

Inconsistent billing or issues with incorrect billing amounts have made headlines for months. While higher energy costs were at least partly to blame last winter, some are now saying it’s time for a better answer, as to ‘why’ many customers are seeing such inconsistent billing.

RG&E is a subsidiary of AVANGRID. The company serves approximately 385,925 electricity customers and 319,737 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered on the City of Rochester.

RG&E Service area.

Customers in Ontario, Livingston, Monroe, and Wayne counties have reported an array of issues related to billing.

One ordinary explanation for suddenly higher bills is what’s known as the ‘budget’. Bills will be kept flat throughout the year, without major changes, and then on the 12th month of the cycle more or less will be charged based on actual usage.

More times than not this simply means one higher bill.

That’s not what people like Jennifer LaRocco, a Rochester resident who spoke with WROC-TV experienced. Her bill is normally $60. This month it jumped to $280. In part, a ‘delivery charge’ that is normally $20 shot up to $100 without explanation. She tried calling RG&E only to be put on hold.

In other cases, it appears as though RG&E is failing to even keep its own records straight. News10NBC spoke with a Rochester-area resident who saw his bill suddenly shoot upward after RG&E finally recognized the new meter they install months earlier. When he called them, RG&E insisted he was wrong about when the new meter was installed.

As they reported, it wasn’t a forgettable event. RG&E installed the meter in September 2021. Then, more than eight months later, the new meter finally appeared on the customer’s bill. It was significantly higher than normal. When the customer called an RG&E representative to get it sorted out – they insisted the new meter was installed in March because their computer system said so.

RG&E resisted until News10NBC reached out to them about that customer’s situation. Then, after significant grief, he was given a refund.

However, company officials maintain that when it comes to RG&E bills – most irregularities are related to budget billing or COVID-19 ‘catch-up’ readings.