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Mayor, city council ask state to investigate RG&E, fund takeover study

Mayor, city council ask state to investigate RG&E, fund takeover study

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Rochester Mayor Malik Evans and City Council are asking the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to investigate Rochester Gas & Electric Corp., saying the company lacks commitment to the area.

The city is asking the PSC to fund a study to evaluate a municipal takeover of the utility’s regional operations. RG&E is a subsidiary of Spain-based Iberdrola.

“Our community is being failed by RG&E,” Evans and City Council said in a letter to the PSC. “Please recognize that we are in a crisis. This frustration is not fleeting — RG&E has been divesting in our community for a long time.”

“We need the PSC’s assistance and expertise to review their performance and to consider funding a study into moving away from RG&E in the near future.”

The letter is critical of RG&E’s current request for rate hikes amid an ongoing billing fiasco that has led to a plethora of customer complaints, from being overcharged by thousands of dollars to not receiving any bill for months and then being asked to pay late fees.

The city says that with cost of living expenses at a crisis point, especially considering Rochester’s high poverty rates, “RG&E’s well-documented failures and skyrocketing energy bills are prompting increased demands in the Rochester community to conduct a study to municipalize RG&E.”

Earlier this month Monroe County Executive Adam Bello asked the PSC to deny RG&E’s proposed 19 percent price hike and also require the utility company to reimburse customers for inaccurate late fees and help repair any negative impact the billing issues caused to credit rating.

Bello also asked the PSC to require RG&E to provide a comprehensive infrastructure plan.

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