Addabbo legislation requiring notification of utility rate increase passed by the NYS Senate
Legislation (S.1804) sponsored by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., requiring gas and electric corporations to provide customers with 60-day notification before any increase in rate or service delivery, was passed by the NYS Senate on Monday, March 13.
“As utility bills skyrocketed this winter, many residents struggled to figure out how they could afford to pay their utility bill and keep food on the table,” Addabbo said. “My legislation would help customers prepare for the utility increase, budget accordingly, and avoid falling behind on bills or incurring penalties for missed payments. Gas and electric utilities are essential to homeowners and businesses, so we must do everything possible to guarantee availability and affordability,” added Addabbo.
Many New Yorkers fell behind on their utility payments and applied for assistance due to significant increases in utility bills. In January, the Governor announced that 478,000 residential customers and 56,000 small businesses in NY received assistance totaling $672 million to pay off unaffordable past-due utility bills. Utility companies could have helped avoid this widespread problem by providing customers advanced notice of forecasted price spikes when the Public Service Commission (PSC) predicted gas and electric increases this winter.
“When you plan for a vacation, you start saving up for the trip beforehand. Similarly, when you know in advance of an increase in utility rates, you are better prepared to manage the added expense by re-evaluating household spending, adjusting energy use, or seeking additional income,” Addabbo concluded.
The legislation, passed by the Senate, is currently under review by the Assembly Energy Committee.