ALBANY,. N.Y. (WROC) — The New York State Public Service Commission confirmed they are actively investigating the quality of service from RG&E. See the full statement below:
The Commission takes service quality and billing very seriously. In the PSC’s most recent service quality report, RG&E was penalized $900,000 for missing its bill service quality metric. Department of Public Service staff is actively investigating/scrutinizing service quality in RG&E’s on-going rate case and will provide recommendations to the Commission on areas of improvement. Ensuring that customer bills are sent out timely and accurately is the singular responsibility of the utility, and the Department will hold RG&E accountable for any billing errors while ensuring customers are held harmless.
The case information can be found on their website.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Back in February, News 8 brought you the story of RG&E customers in Brighton frustrated over high bills. While some of that is in the process of getting resolved, customers are still reaching confused over irregular charges and high amounts in the region.
Customers say bills are way higher than normal this year. There are also instances where people will get charged nothing for months, then get a huge bill down the road.
City resident Jennifer LaRocco says she’s been billed consistently month to month, but is seeing delivery charges four times higher than the usual amount, and overall bills about five times higher than they usually are.
Monthly she says her bill is typically about $60 dollars. This month, her bill was $280 dollars. She says their usage has not changed in the 20 years they’ve been city residents and the charges have always been consistent, really up until a few months ago.
“Suddenly, we had this huge jump in our bill. We didn’t get any notice from RG&E saying anything was going to change. So I looked at it and I found a line item that says ‘delivery charge’. Okay. And I looked at the past bills and they were like $20 per month, and this one was over $100, and there’s no real explanation. I tried to call RG&E, obviously most places have automated systems. You have to go through the menus and wait and all that. I spent 30 minutes on hold. No one ever answered my phone call,” says LaRocco.
She also says RG&E is the only electric company in town, and feels the company at this point can do whatever they want to customers. She said her quest to get answers has been frustrating and gone nowhere.
Meet Melvin Young. “But everybody calls me ‘Mel’, M-E-L. And I’m retired,” Young said.
Young says by reading his own meter and keeping track of numbers on his gigantic spreadsheet since 1998, he has never had any billing surprises.
“My last four bills were under $150 dollars using air conditioning and electric,” he said.
His advice for fellow customers to avoid surprises? “A little bit of due diligence in reading your own meter goes a long way,” he said.
While Jennifer’s issue of ‘delivery charges’ is separate from meter readings, many reaching out to News 8 have had a number of billing issues across the board. Mel feels his advice is helpful in at least combating some of the bill ‘shock’.
Julio Saenz with RG&E responded to some of the high charges.
“Some of that was related to COVID,” he said. “The fact that we couldn’t get access to a lot of people’s homes, so we had to do estimates. Eventually, when we were able to get in there, we had to adjust the readings. The other thing also like a lot of companies have struggled finding folks for open positions. So, we have had a lack of some of the meter-readers we normally would have had to go out and physically read.”
Saenz said that reading meters for RG&E customers is going to get a whole lot easier soon.
“So we’re actually going to be ‘smart meters’ over the next three years in the Rochester region,” he said. “These things are actually going to be sending the data automatically to us.”
He also said billing issues should be cleared up, however, they “can’t discuss individual bills because of privacy issues.”
If you are experiencing any issues, RG&E asks that you please reach out to them:
Self Service Line: 800.295.7323
Customer Service: 800.743.2110
Payment Arrangements: 877.266.3492