The state Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee has released a final report following a nine-month investigation into utility pricing practices in New York.
The probe examined the state’s six major, investor-owned utilities and its largest public-private utility – Central Hudson, Con Edison, Orange and Rockland Utilities, National Grid, NYSEG, Rochester Gas & Electric, and PSEG Long Island – based on the way most New Yorkers purchase and are provided with power and heating. The utilities serve an estimated 4.4 million natural gas customers and 8.1 million electric customers.
The report found issues with energy supply hedging practices and billing reconciliations; a lack of competition and accountability; flawed customer notices and utility communications; and systemic billing issues. It also revealed regulatory gaps that, if properly addressed, could save utility consumers money, heartache, and time.
A spokeswoman for state Sen. James Skoufis’s office said that of the more than 1,250 cases they handled last year, 440 cases regarded utility billing and pricing. Skoufis, a Cornwall Democrat who leads the Senate’s Investigations and Government Operations Committee, said that the findings of the investigation, conducted in conjunction with the Senate’s Energy Committee, revealed several regulatory gaps.
Portions of the report also support a recent report released by the state Public Service Commission, which investigated issues surrounding Central Hudson’s billing practices.
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