Fed Up with RG&E Errors
Electric customers in Rochester are in a long battle with their utility. Thousands of RG&E customers have dealt with massively inflated bills and others issues. Unsatisfied with the response from their independently owned utility, Rochester electricity customers are ready to take the next step. Let’s see how RG&E prices and errors threaten its future in New York.
Mounting Complaints Against RG&E Errors
A Rochester area restaurant owner was shocked to see RG&E take $10,000 from his bank account one afternoon in April,. 2022. Although the utility refunded the money after the customer called, it attempted to charge the same amount again.
This is one example out of thousands of complaints against RG&E bills. Utility customers have since taken complaints to the state Department of Public Service in record numbers. In 2022, complaints totaled 60% greater than the previous two years combined. This eventually launched investigations and a record amount of fines.
Then, almost like rubbing salt in the wound, RG&E asked to increase delivery rates by more than 20%. In March, 32 members of the state assembly wrote the Governor and Chair of the NY PSC to deny the increase. Residents also turned up in huge numbers in March at a county meeting, finally fed up. The utility has since filed for a slightly scaled back electricity rate increase of 16% over the next three years.
Outraged customers, however, have asked for local lawmakers to take steps toward a public power operation. This would push RG&E out of the area.
The Response to the Complaints
RG&E brushed off some responsibility for the mounting claims against them. President and CEO Patricia Nielsen blames the pandemic for staffing shortages and misreading meters. However, the utility intends to make improvements. The plan is to beef up their customer service and meter reading teams and to install more smart meters. These changes are underway.
But the local government is still making moves to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. The Rochester City Council recently voted unanimously to fund a study to determine if a public takeover of RG&E is feasible. Budgeted at $500,000, the study still seeks funding. However, it won’t likely kick RG&E out of the area at its end and definitely not without a court fight. To be sure, it would be a long road but RG&E customers seem to have had enough.
RG&E Errors Shouldn’t Threaten Your Electricity
RG&E’s troubles are ongoing. And for that reason, customers should keep an eye on the charges to their electric bill each month. If you see something wrong, contact RG&E about your bill. If you and you and the utility can’t resolve the problem to your satisfaction, be sure to file a complaint with DPS.
Remember, you can learn about the issues and news affecting New York electricity rates for your home at https://www.nyenergyratings.com.