ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — At the Monroe County Legislature meeting Tuesday, dozens of frustrated RG&E customers attended and let their voices be heard, calling for the establishment of a public utility company.
For a year now, News 8 has been bringing you the stories of customers with high bills and billing irregularities. Mohini Sharma is the organizing director for Metro Justice, an organization advocating for a public takeover of utilities. She said the demand is immensely popular.
“Residents want to see our elected representatives from the county actually do something about the RG&E crisis,” said Sharma.
Sharma said they want the legislature to fund a $1 million implementation study. Speakers did not hold back on RG&E during public comments.
“RG&E’s infrastructure is unethical and broken. The evidence is in their incompetent management, billing errors, poor customer service,” said one customer.
“I’ve seen my rates double in the past year. And I can’t even trust that that is due to increased usage,” said another customer.
Speakers argued other places in the county don’t have to deal with RG&E. “That is correct. Fairport, Spencerport, Churchville, all have public utilities,” said Sharma.
Sharma says they are both cheaper and more reliable — and help the local economies. “And everyone in Monroe County deserves the same for heat and electricity,” she said.
RG&E weighed in Tuesday in anticipation of the county legislature meeting saying the following:
“RG&E continues to make customer service improvements. We are filling meter reading positions and we have seen the percentage of estimated bills drop by more than 63% which we expect will reduce billing issues. We also hired 120 customer service representatives last year, and to continue this positive trend, we expect to hire 100 more positions this year with 45 new customer service representatives to start training soon. This will result in shorter wait times for customers. Addressing billing issues continues to be a top priority, and we are committed to ensuring customer bills are sent out timely and accurately.”Alexis L. Arnold, New York Communications Manager
But Sharma said it’s time to pull the plug. “RG&E has made promises they have failed to follow through on for decades,” adding, “RG&E is failing in every possible way.”