Senate Passes Ratepayer Protections

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to protect ratepayers across New York State. The legislation follows a 2022 State Senate Investigations Committee report that explored the pricing practices and failures of utilities and power producers across the state. The subsequent package of bills will address utility storm response, protect property owners, improve utility payment plans, and protect ratepayers from unfair practices. The comprehensive legislation continues the work of the Senate Majority “to eliminate price surging, and hold utility companies accountable.”

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Far too many New Yorkers have difficulty understanding their utility bills, and often the determination of rates is unclear, leaving the consumer frustrated with their utility companies. Today's bill package addresses the outdated and inaccessible process to protect ratepayers across New York, and hold utility companies responsible. Additionally, this bill package works to address the affordability of utilities and expand payment plan options to consumers. I'd like to thank today's bill sponsors for protecting consumers and working to lessen the economic burden on families across New York.”

Chair of the Energy and Telecommunications Committee, Senator Kevin Parker, said, “In these strapped economic times in which we live, it is imperative that we do all within our power as lawmakers to help struggling New Yorkers. One area where this is achievable and can bring much-needed relief is utility bill payments. Therefore, I am happy to support the bill package that can achieve just this by calling on the Public Service Commission to set minimum standards for payment plans established by utility companies in the state. New Yorkers pay some of the highest fixed charges in the nation on their utility bills, and during a long period of inflation and extraordinarily high energy rates, payment plans should be more accessible and available to individuals who have demonstrated the need.”

Read the Senate Majority Press Release.

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