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Home » News » Pressure for big changes at RG&E grows: How could it be made a public utility company?

Pressure for big changes at RG&E grows: How could it be made a public utility company?

  • / Updated:
  • Rebecca Swift 

Members of the public are not sitting by idly while Rochester Gas & Electric schedules private meetings with the Rochester City Council, as customers continue to report billing errors and ineffective customer service.

Things escalated Monday morning outside City Hall, where protesters held signs and chanted, “Hey-hey, ho-ho, RG&E has got to go!”

“The only thing we’ve gotten from them (RG&E) is a proposal to raise our rates, 20%, does that sound fair?!,” added Mohini Sharma with Metro Justice.

“We got a lot of our folks together to say that RG&E should not be having private, closed-door meetings with elected officials,” Sharma continued Monday. “They have done nothing to show that we should trust them with talking to our decision-makers privately. They should be having these meetings publicly.”

Dozens protested outside Rochester City Hall Monday against RG&E’s plans to meet privately with public officials

Sharma said RG&E has been making billing errors and its customer service is poor. “Enough is enough with that,” Sharma added.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

What would need to happen to make RG&E a public utility?

Sharma said an implementation study and eventually a referendum need to happen to solve the problem long term. That means turning RG&E into a public utility, she said. “We’ve had RG&E for decades, they’ve had decades do to things right, and they fail year after year and still ask for rate hikes,” she added. “The only way to break that cycle is to turn them public.”

Sharma encouraged the public to reach out local elected officials, because they need to commission and fund the study, then put the referendum on the ballot.  

More: RG&E penalized $900K for billing issues: What should you do if yours is wrong? reached out to both RG&E and the City’s communication office but have not heard back from either yet. We’re told the RG&E and the Rochester City Council meeting was canceled.