Western New Yorkers May Have Been Overcharged For Electric
If your electric bill has been going up and up, there may actually be a problem with your billing.
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Everything seems to be getting more expensive, but it shouldn’t be an outrageous jump.
Who Is Affected?
Many Western New Yorkers have noticed their electric bill has increased by 50% or more, even though they haven’t been using that much additional electric bill. Customers have been filing complaints since the beginning of the year, and they haven’t gone unnoticed.
The New York State Department of Public Service has initiated an investigation into these billing errors across the state. That’s right – it’s not just in Western New York. At one point, there were so many complaints against NYSEG that the NYS Department of Public Service had to open a public forum for customers to freely express their concerns.
The forum has since been closed, but the investigation is underway nonetheless.
Some residents have reported receiving two or three bills in the span of a week, after not receiving bills for months.
Michelle Porter, an Ithaca resident, told her local news team how “insane” her prices have been over the last several months. According to Ithaca.com, Porter received three separate bills within a week, and the prices varied from $700 to $1,200 to $1,500.
That’s a significant difference in billing, wouldn’t you agree?
When Did NYSEG Notice The Problem?
The problems with the utility billing systems became apparent when the Department saw a significant spike in the number of complaints from customers, and as a result, the Department staff commenced a review and an investigation.
Now, it looks like the billing started to see a spike as early as September 2022, which was right around the time that NYSEG proposed a 22 percent increase for the average electric bill. That change was planned to take effect on May 1, 2023 and increase the average electricity bill by roughly $18.31.
Not hundreds of dollars, though.
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 increased by 60 percent more than the two previous years.
Did NYSEG Respond?
In response to the investigation, Rory M. Christian, the CEO of the Department of Public Service said, “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,”
The CEO of the Department of Public Service said that the “bottom line is simple: we hold utilities accountable for any billing errors and we will require the companies to hold customers harmless.”
If you have an issue with your bill and you think it’s priced too high, there is a way to dispute a claim.
Dispute A Claim
You can contact your utility directly. If you are unable to resolve the issue, then you should file a complaint through the Department. Any complaint can be filed online, over the phone, or in person. For more information, click here.