senate Bill S5696A

2013-2014 Legislative Session

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

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to energy and telecommunications
Jun 11, 2013 print number 5696a
amend and recommit to energy and telecommunications
Jun 05, 2013 referred to energy and telecommunications

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

S5696 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §5, Pub Serv L

S5696 - Bill Texts

view 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.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S5696

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.

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

                                  5696

                       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

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
the  assembly,  the  temporary president of the senate, the chair of the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD11335-01-3

S. 5696                             2

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, WATER AND CABLE TELEVISION
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.

S5696A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §5, Pub Serv L

S5696A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view 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.

view 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 full text
download pdf
                    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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