ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) will be hosting its first public forums in regard to its investigation into billing issues that customers have had with RG&E and NYSEG.
The DPS says these forums are for RG&E and NYSEG customers to provide comments on service quality issues including billing, customer service, and meter reading issues they have experienced.
Those who attended the first public forum explained issues they’ve personally had with RG&E — examples of issues they have shared included bills not reflecting their usage, customer service issues, mistakes with RG&E reading their meters, and an extended wait period to hear back from RG&E.
“The fact remains is that they’re taking my money and they are not showing me where it’s going,” said caller Katherine Fisher.
Warren Lucas, the supervisor of the Town of North Salem, said he gets a lot of calls regarding the bills from NYSEG while reflecting on the billing issues he’s experienced.
“The bills are horrific, they’re horrendous, they’re not understandable,” said Lucas. “They’re leaving the community’s solar off, I think most of these bills are done by hand. They’re an absolute disaster.”
After both of Tuesday’s forums, an in-person forum will take place in Somers on Wednesday, February 1 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Heritage Hills Society.
Rochester residents will have a chance to express their concerns at a forum on Tuesday, February 7 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Rochester City Hall Council Chambers.
An event in Binghamton will take place on February 8 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Binghamton State Office Building.
The DPS is looking for comments from people who have responses to the following questions:
- Those who have received delayed bills or no bills for extended periods of time (e.g., more than one month)
- Those who did not receive a bill for one month or more, and how long it took to receive a bill, and those who possibly received more than one bill as a “catch-up”
- Those who called the utility to inquire why they did not receive a bill, did they receive timely, accurate and adequate information from their utility about why they were not receiving their bill(s) and when normal billing would resume
- Those receiving renewable energy services from a community distributed generation, and have had any issues with receiving bills, credits, or with inaccurate, delayed, or non-existent credits and billing reconciliations
- Those who are customers with solar panels or another form of renewable energy, and have had any issues with receiving bills, credits, or with inaccurate, delayed, or nonexistent credits and billing reconciliations, or have had troubles with demand metering
- Those who have received supply service through an Energy Service Company, and have had any issues with receiving bills, credits, or with inaccurate, delayed, or nonexistent credits and billing reconciliations
Statement from RG&E
“While NYSEG and RG&E have not been immune from the effects of COVID on our utility, such as a severe staffing shortage, we understand the impacts some of our customers have faced with their bills. In fact, we have already made significant progress by hiring 120 new customer service representatives, with more to come, which has resulted in reducing customer issues and streamlining our billing processes. But make no mistake, along with providing safe, reliable service to more than 1,290,000 customers and responding to and restoring service following historic storms, addressing billing issues continues to be a top priority, and we are committed to ensuring customer bills are sent out timely and accurately. We will fully cooperate with the Department’s investigation.” – Shelby Cohen, Avangrid Senior Manager of Corporate Communications for NY