Rochester Mayor Malik Evans and City Council have called upon the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to investigate Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. (RG&E), claiming that the utility company lacks a commitment to the Rochester area. The city is requesting that the PSC fund a study to assess a municipal takeover of RG&E’s regional operations. RG&E is a subsidiary of Spain-based Iberdrola.
In a letter addressed to the PSC, Evans and City Council expressed their disappointment with RG&E’s services, stating that the company has been divesting in the community for a long time. The letter also criticized RG&E’s recent request for rate hikes, amidst an ongoing billing fiasco that has resulted in numerous customer complaints, including overcharging by thousands of dollars and delayed bills followed by late fees.
The city’s cost of living expenses has reached a crisis point, particularly given Rochester’s high poverty rates. The letter explained that RG&E’s failures and soaring energy bills have prompted increased demands in the community to investigate the possibility of municipalizing RG&E. The letter added that RG&E is failing the nine counties in the area, and the state and PSC need to be involved in discussions to consider a public takeover of the utility company.
Earlier this month, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello urged the PSC to reject RG&E’s proposed 19 percent price hike and called for the utility company to reimburse customers for inaccurate late fees and assist in repairing any negative impact caused by billing issues on credit ratings. Bello also requested the PSC to require RG&E to submit a comprehensive infrastructure plan.
The letter from Evans and City Council follows a series of complaints about RG&E’s services, prompting concerns about the utility company’s commitment to the Rochester community. The PSC is yet to respond to the letter or provide any details on the proposed study.
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