New York DPS Expands Investigation of NYSEG and RG&E for Alleged Billing Errors
December 28, 2022
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The New York State Department of Public Service (Department or DPS) today announced that it has expanded its investigation into New York State Electric & Gas Corp. (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. (RG&E) for what the Department alleged was, "potential mismanagement of their utilities’ billing systems and protocols."
NYSEG and RG&E provided the following statement concerning the matter:
"NYSEG and RG&E received notice of the Department of Public Service investigation this afternoon. 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 in reducing customer issues by hiring new billing specialists 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."
--- Statement from NYSEG and RG&E
Department CEO Rory M. Christian stated in a news release that, "Ensuring customer bills are accurate is the singular responsibility of the utility, and this expanded investigation of RG&E and NYSEG will determine what went wrong and how will it be resolved."
"Our bottom line is simple: we hold utilities accountable for any billing errors and we will require the companies to hold customers harmless," Christian said
The DPS said in a news release that, "The problems with the two utilities’ billing systems became apparent when the Department began to see a significant spike in the number of complaints from customers. As a result, Department staff commenced a review and an investigation related to a September 2022 change to the companies’ customer information and billing system."
"The complaints received by the Department range from incorrect bills being sent to consumers or very late bills being sent. In 2022, the number of consumer complaints against the two companies soared to more than 4,700, 60 percent more than the two previous years combined," the DPS said in a news release
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As part of the investigation, the Department’s Consumer Advocate will host a series of public forums in affected areas starting in January to hear consumer concerns first-hand.
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