BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Since February News 8 has been bringing you coverage on RG&E customers who received sky-high bills in the mail, only to be told they opted in for a green energy solar program. The high charges were due to ‘solar credits’ they were being billed for with a separate company.

This week, new developments: The solar company — Source Power — has defaulted on a payment, and one customer, Shirley King, is getting a notice of an amount due going away.

King said that back in January, her billing from RG&E was ‘sporadic’ and she just could not get an accurate statement. “I don’t want to be faced with a bill for $1,200 — which is what they sent me.”

King doesn’t remember specifically opting into any solar programs, that was more or less the Town of Brighton doing so. In February, she was hit with a charge for solar credits due all at once, and she got bills with months of accumulated regular charges lumped all together.

“I pay my bills. I pay my bills,” she said. “And I don’t like being in arrears.”

After months of not getting answers from RG&E, in May she filed a charge with the Public Service Commission. Weeks later, the PSC called her on the solar charges from January.

“For ‘stacked solar credit’, which I knew nothing about — that was going away,” she said about $700 back in her pocket.

Source Power, the solar company, said in a statement there’s been a billing issue with RG&E, where they were unable to collect $1.2 million in solar credits, which led to payment default.

They are currently working now to reach a settlement.

In the meantime, the 1,200 to 1,400 customers who were on this green energy program are going back to regular RG&E power.

“But, I just received an email from RG&E,” King said, pointing to a letter.

RG&E is telling King she may receive an additional bill for charges through June 14th. “Meaning, they might be going back [in the billing cycle],” she said.

It is unclear how far back those charges may go. At this point, King just wants to get back to normal. “Because the way this has gone, we don’t know what we owe,” she said.


Full statement from Source Power:

“A billing and crediting issue with RG&E, in which the utility’s regulatory interpretation resulted in our company not collecting over $1.2 million in solar credits, led to the NYISO payment default. Despite the financial hardship endured by our company, we are proud that participating communities have enjoyed savings of roughly $1.5 million from this partnership over the past 18 months. All consumers and developers have been made whole and we are pleased with the support we have received from municipal leadership and Joule to do what is right for the customer.  We are working towards reaching a settlement with all involved parties that will keep the NYISO markets whole and ease the financial burden on our company. We look forward to continuing to serve consumers in the New York market.”

Will May, CEO of Source Power Company

Full statement from RG&E

“We are here to serve our customers and there will be no disruption of service to any customers being returned to our service. If any customers have questions on their rates, they should call our customer service department at 1 (800) 743-2110.”

Julio Saenz, RG&E

Full statement from the Town of Brighton

Earlier this week, the Town of Brighton became aware that ICON Energy d/b/a Source Power has gone into default under its agreement with the N.Y. Independent System Operator (“NYISO”) to purchase renewable electricity to supply the Community Choice Aggregation Plan in Brighton, as well as CCA Plans in the City of Canandaigua and the Village of Victor. We do not know the specifics of the default by ICON, but because of their default, ICON is no longer able to supply electricity to the CCA programs in Brighton, Canandaigua or Victor. Therefore, customers in the Brighton CCA have been shifted back to RG&E for their electricity supply, effective yesterday.

Supervisor Moehle states, “First, it is important to note that there will be no power interruptions. However, due to the ICON default, CCA customers are now receiving the traditional mix of electricity supply from RG&E, rather than a 100% renewable supply, and as of yesterday, pricing for CCA customers receiving electricity supply from RG&E will be based on RG&E’s current market prices.

Second, the Town of Brighton is reviewing all of its options with respect to the default by ICON. In doing so, we are in consultations with Joule Assets, the manager of our CCA program, as well as Roctricity, Joule’s local partner.

We are disturbed and disappointed by this interruption to our CCA program, because we know that renewable energy is essential to our future. We will provide updates as new information becomes available that we can share with residents.

I also anticipate that we will have additional information in the near future about the recurring billing issues that some RG&E customers are experiencing, particularly it seems, customers who enrolled in the community solar program, which was also supplied by ICON. I know how challenging it is for customers who are again receiving unexplained large and unexpected bills from RG&E, and we have conveyed our expectation that RG&E work with the Town to correct those billing issues and communication/customer service issues as soon as possible.”

More on customers returning back to RG&E services can be read here.