County Executive Ryan states that, “The failed implementation of Central Hudson’s new billing system compounded by unexpected and unprecedented bill surges has resulted in extensive damage to the confidence of our community…”
County Executive Pat Ryan is utilizing his authority under New York State Public Service Law Section 71 to trigger an investigation by the Public Service Commission
Since September, at least 11,000 Central Hudson electricity customers have experienced billing problems and over-estimated bills
KINGSTON, N.Y. - Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan today submitted a letter to the Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission calling for an official investigation of Central Hudson’s billing practices and related price surges. Under Public Service Law Section 71, County Executive Pat Ryan has the legal authority to call for an investigation. In his letter, Ryan cited residents’ concerns ranging from not receiving bills for months, to extremely over-estimated bills, to large automatic withdrawals from consumers accounts without notice. As a result of the letter, the Public Service Commission is required to open a formal investigation into these practices.
“Residents have detailed a multitude of negative experiences…Further, the only explanation provided by Central Hudson has been to blame their new technology whilst disregarding the precarious and stressful situations they plunge their customers into,” County Executive Pat Ryan writes. “The failed implementation of Central Hudson’s new billing system compounded by unexpected and unprecedented bill surges has resulted in extensive damage to the confidence of our community as consumers, all of whom are without any other choice of provider for their utility needs.”
Public Service Law §71 allows for the filing of complaints regarding gas and electric service, including quality, price, and the duration of a disruption in service. Under this Section, the Commission investigates complaints from the chief executive officer in which a person or corporation is authorized to manufacture, sell, transmit, or supply electricity or gas for heat, light, or power. Since September, at least 11,000 Central Hudson electricity customers have experienced billing problems.
The request comes in conjunction with calls from State leadership, signifying the high degree of public interest in this situation. An investigation by the Public Service Commission will result in a list of findings and recommendations, including possible compensation to affected ratepayers under Section 73 of the Public Service Law.