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NYS expands investigation into RG&E, NYSEG for billing errors and mismanagement

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The state is expanding its investigation into RG&E and NYSEG amid a myriad of issues involving the energy provider.

The state Department of Public Service announced on Wednesday that it was expanding its investigation into the two entities for potential mismanagement of their utilities’ billing systems and protocols.

As part of the investigation, the Department’s Consumer Advocate will host a series of public forums in affected areas starting in January to hear consumer concerns first-hand.

“Ensuring customer bills are accurate is the singular responsibility of the utility, and this expanded investigation of RG&E and NYSEG will determine what went wrong and how will it be resolved,” said Department CEO Rory M. Christian. “Our bottom line is simple: we hold utilities accountable for any billing errors and we will require the companies to hold customers harmless.”

The problems with the two utilities’ billing systems became apparent when the Department began to see a significant spike in the number of complaints from customers. As a result, Department staff commenced a review and an investigation related to a September 2022 change to the companies’ customer information and billing system.

The complaints received by the Department range from incorrect bills being sent to consumers or very late bills being sent. In 2022, the number of consumer complaints against the two companies soared to more than 4,700, 60 percent more than the two previous years combined.

Customers that are experiencing problems with utility bills should follow the normal consumer complaint process to ensure these complaints are received and resolved in a timely fashion. Customers should first contact their utility for resolution and if unable to get a satisfactory resolution from the utility provider, customers should contact the Department’s Office of Consumer Services to file a complaint.

Additionally, the New York State Home Energy Fair Practices Act has comprehensive protections for residential customers regarding their utility services. These rights include the option to pay bills in installments, a cap on late fees, sufficient notice prior to services being shut-off, and protections for those on a fixed income or with medical conditions. Learn about these from the Department of Public Service website at AskPSC.

NYSEG, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, serves 907,336 electric customers and 270,204 natural gas customers across more than 40 percent of upstate New York. RG&E, also a subsidiary of AVANGRID, serves approximately 385,925 electric customers and 319,737 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered in the City of Rochester, Monroe County.