ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — RG&E has responded to calls to make the company a public utility after concerns about RG&E’s billing practices.

Many RG&E and NYSEG customers have been criticizing the utility for high and erratic charges on their bills.

Trish Neilsen, the CEO of RG&E, said in a statement to the city newspaper that the COVID-19 pandemic was the cause of these challenges and calls the allegations against RG&E “irresponsible and inaccurate.”

Neilsen also called the push to make RG&E a public utility a “political agenda” while highlighting the company’s financial contributions to local causes, such as economic development and education Neilsen said in part:

“These investments — which affect the community’s well-being and help reach essential climate goals — will be jeopardized by government-controlled power that some have raised as the misguided solution for current challenges with supply rates and customer service, and will likely cost taxpayers billions.”

She also announced that RG&E is suspending late payment charges for its customers and providing millions of dollars in relief.

This response comes months after the New York State Department of Public Service expanded its investigation into NYSEG and RG&E after the organization saw a 60% in customer complaints towards the two utilities.

Toward the end of January and the beginning of February, the Department held public forums in regard to these complaints. Customers of both NYSEG and RG&E who attended the forums reported various issues such as bills not reflecting their usage, problems with customer service, and extended wait periods to hear from the utilities.