BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Homeowners in Brighton are raising the alarm as multiple customers see a spike in their RG&E bills. Tuesday, News 8 reported on a woman who received a mammoth RG&E bill… over $1,200 for a month of power.

Dozens of you have emailed or phoned News 8 with similar concerns. People are asking, what’s going on with all this? In short, it’s not clear.

Folks are saying when they call RG&E, they are oftentimes diverted to other companies like ‘Icon’ or solar energy ‘Source Power,’ only to be told to call back RG&E. 

Tuesday, RG&E said at least when it comes to Brighton, the town chose to opt-in to a green energy program and there were some accidental charges made that RG&E is now trying to fix. The town supervisor from Brighton as we reported, has filed a formal complaint with the State Public Service Commission against RG&E and Source Power. 

Among the dozens of e-mails and phone calls about these high bills, was homeowner Sabra Wood, a Brighton resident on autopay. She has solar panels and lives alone. She just got a bill for over $700 dollars.

RG&E told her—that her internal meters have not been read in about two years. She says “God help” her when an actual meter reading does happen. 

“I spent 45 minutes waiting on the phone and spoke to them, and we had a back and forth,” Wood said. “It turns out that my internal meters have not been read since before the pandemic, and they said they’re not doing indoor readings anymore. But some of my neighbors have had indoor readings. I tried to phone in multiple times my own readings and they said I was wrong. And I read meters at my studio all the time. And then I said what about my outdoor meter? (And they said) ‘well if our person is sick we skip that month.'”

She also said don’t blame the solar program in Brighton. Wood says Brighton is doing it right with green energy, it’s RG&E who are not quite clear when it comes to billing.

In Bob Insull’s $805 bill, ‘Source Power’ solar can be seen as an additional charge of $655 dollars. Take that away — and the bill would be about $150, pretty standard. 

“So it looks to me like either there’s an error on the Source Power calculation, or that they’ve not been billing…” and now they’re hit with the grand total, he says.

Insull says green energy, great. But not like this. “It seems to me that the idea of Source Power was to bring reduced charges.”

As more and more homeowners have emailed or called News 8, here is a sampling of some of the complaints:

  • One business owner in Rochester usually has bills of about $280 per month. In January he got TWO bills–one for $1,131 and another for $1,282. That’s over $2,400 dollars for a month of energy.
  • Another homeowner in Brighton got a bill for $1,388 dollars and says she paid over $5,000 extra in bills last year.
  • A homeowner in Rochester said she got a monthly bill for $1,366.

In a statement to News 8 Wednesday, RG&E said, “We cannot speculate on individual customer bills and charges. I would encourage those customers to call us if they have a question. The customer service phone number is 1-800-743-2110.”

A representative from Source Power did weigh in Thursday on this matter to News 8 saying: “All reversal balances that have posted to customers’ bills are credits that were improperly applied to customers’ accounts.  These are not charges, but credits misapplied over time that will need to be recovered. If customers review their bills, they will see that they are still saving money month to month. We are working with RG&E to resolve this and appreciate patience while we do. Source is also happy to advise each customer on a payment plan. We’re here to help.”