ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar is the latest to join the mounting calls for a freeze to utility rate hikes proposed by RG&E.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans and the Rochester City Council called on the New York State Public Service Commission to reject the rate hike last week. Monroe County Executive Adam Bello made a similar statement earlier this month.

In letters sent to members of the PSC and New York State Senator Samra Brouk Tuesday, LaMar called RG&E’s proposed 18.8 percent rate hike for gas customers “unacceptable,” saying she has received hundreds of complaints from constituents about utility costs.

“This level of incompetence cannot and should not be rewarded,” LaMar said. “RG&E is failing the Rochester community.”

LaMar also asked the New York State Legislature to fund a study to determine whether RG&E could feasibly be transformed into a municipal utility.

“RG&E has been a problem in our region for a long time,” she said, “and we must allow it to continue this way any longer.”

Read the full statement from the Monroe County Legislature president

“Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) is currently seeking a 21% rate increase for electric and 18.8% for gas customers, which combined would result in an annual bill increase of nearly $260 for an average residential customer. This level of increase is unacceptable, especially for the many poor and working-class customers I represent.

I have personally received hundreds of emails from constituents complaining about RG&E, along with more than one hundred people who have appeared personally at County Legislature meetings to express their displeasure and ask for a local, public takeover of RG&E. Their customer service is abysmal, and public trust has been eroded in the company.

The NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) is undertaking an investigation of the billing practices of RG&E, because the number of consumer complaints skyrocketed in 2022

The RG&E rate filing with the PSC contains many deficiencies and errors, and the company has been vague and non-responsive to the questions that would bring a level of clarity to their request.

The billing problems as well as the vagueness of the rate filing call into question the administrative competence of RG&E.

In light of these issues, I am calling on the Public Service Commission and Governor Hochul to dismiss the RG&E rate increase request and to protect the public interest by making sure that RG&E get their billing straightened out and submit a proper, detailed rate filing before any rate hikes are considered. This level of incompetence cannot and should not be rewarded. RG&E is failing the Rochester community.

I am also asking the New York State Legislature to fund a study to determine the feasibility of transforming RG&E into a municipal utility. RG&E has been a problem in our region for a long time, and we must allow it to continue this way any longer.”

Monroe Co. Legislature President Sabrina LaMar

Read RG&E’s response

NYSEG and RG&E’s proposed plan to the PSC will enable much needed investment in the Companies’ infrastructure, provide for a better customer experience, and provide benefits for the Companies’ most vulnerable customers.  It also re-affirms the Companies’ commitment to build more economic, social, and environmentally sustainable communities throughout the areas we serve. In short, it will allow us to accomplish our top priority, which is to provide safe, reliable electric and natural gas service to our customers.