senate Bill S5696A

Directs the public service commission to study and eliminate utility billing messages that are no longer relevant or confusing

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 05 / Jun / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 5696A
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Summary

Directs the public service commission to study and eliminate utility billing messages that are no longer relevant or confusing; requires the public service commission to develop recommendations for utility bills that are standardized, uniform and easy to understand.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S5696
S5696A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Energy And Telecommunications
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง5, Pub Serv L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5696A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to direct the public service commission to
study and report on streamlining orders and actions associated with
bills for residential electric, gas, telephone and water customers;
and to amend the public service law, in relation to directing the
public service commission to develop recommendations for standardized,
uniform and easy to understand utility bills

PURPOSE:

This legislation directs the Public Service Commission to streamline
orders and actions associated with bills for residential electric,
gas, telephone and water customers, and develop recommendations for
standardized, uniform and easy to understand utility bills.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Directs the public service commission to study the past
orders and actions related to billing messages and determine which
messages are no longer relevant. The study shall result in a report
with details the related orders and commission actions that are no
longer necessary and hinder companies from providing streamline
consumer bills.

Section 2: Amends Section 5 of the Public Service Law by adding a
subdivision that requires the commission to develop and publish
recommendations for utility service providers to improve the billing
system by generating bills that are standardized, uniform and easy to
understand.

Section 3: Effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Telephone and utility bills are often confusing, especially for the
elderly and those with disabilities. By studying and changing the
required billing messages that were developed prior to industry
competition, it will likely result in much less confusing bills for
residential customers of electric, gas, telephone and water companies.
Simplifying utility service providers billing system will likely lead
to less confusion and make it much easier to understand, giving
consumers an easier time comparing bills between companies.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect 90 days after it becomes law.


view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 5696--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 5, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LIBOUS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on  Energy  and  Telecommuni-
  cations  --  committee  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
  amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to direct the public service commission to study  and  report  on
  streamlining  orders and actions associated with bills for residential
  electric, gas, telephone and water customers; and to amend the  public
  service law, in relation to directing the public service commission to
  develop  recommendations  for standardized, uniform and easy to under-
  stand utility bills

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. (a) The public service commission is directed to study the
past orders and  actions  related  to  matters  which  required  billing
messages  that were developed prior to industry competition and that may
be creating confusing bills for residential customers of electric,  gas,
telephone and water companies. Specifically, such study shall review the
past commission orders and actions and determine which bill messages are
no  longer  relevant  and  should  be  removed  because  the information
required to be included in the consumer bills is no longer relevant  and
may  be  largely  ignored  by  most consumers. In such cases, the public
service commission shall  no  longer  require  this  information  to  be
included  in customer bills, but can make such information available via
the utility company's public website in lieu of requiring this  informa-
tion  in  consumer  bills.  In completing this study, the public service
commission shall reduce bill messages that are no longer needed.
  (b) This study shall result in a report,  which  details  all  billing
related  orders  and commission actions that are no longer necessary and
can hinder companies from  providing  streamlined  consumer  bills.  The
study  and  report  shall be filed, on or before December 31, 2014, with
the governor, the director of the division of the budget, the speaker of

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD11335-02-3

S. 5696--A                          2

the assembly, the temporary president of the senate, the  chair  of  the
assembly  way  and  means  committee,  the  chair  of the senate finance
committee and the chairs of the assembly standing  committee  on  corpo-
rations,  authorities and commissions and the senate energy and telecom-
munications committee. Such study and report shall also be posted on the
website of the public service commission by December 31, 2014 and  shall
be deemed a public document.
  S  2.  Section  5 of the public service law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 7 to read as follows:
  7. THE  COMMISSION  SHALL  DEVELOP  AND  PUBLISH  RECOMMENDATIONS  FOR
PROVIDERS  OF ELECTRIC, GAS, STEAM, TELEPHONE AND WATER SERVICES FOR THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF AN IMPROVED  BILLING  SYSTEM  FOR  EACH  TYPE  OF  SUCH
SERVICE  PROVIDERS AND FOR BILLS THAT ARE STANDARDIZED, UNIFORM AND EASY
TO UNDERSTAND.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

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