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Energy companies in Empire State were overcharging for electric and gas

Staff writer ▼ | February 23, 2016
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new plan to protect residential and small commercial consumers from unfair business practices in the retail energy service.
Energy New York
New York   New consumer protections for energy consumers
This follows an industry-wide review conducted by the New York State Public Service Commission. This review found that multiple energy services companies, or ESCOs, were overcharging for electric and gas service, as well as failing to deliver on promises for savings and clean energy.

Today's actions will both enhance consumer protections and ensure that violators of the Commission's regulations will not be allowed to operate in the State.

"We have zero tolerance for these unscrupulous companies, whose business model is to prey on ratepayers with promises of lower energy costs only to deliver skyrocketing bills," Governor Cuomo said.

"These actions will root out these bad actors and protect New Yorkers from these unfair and dishonest tactics."

In response to these findings, the Commission is conducting an immediate audit of these companies and has prohibited new ESCO contracts with residential or small commercial customers from taking effect unless they provide guaranteed cost savings, or at least 30 percent of the supply comes from renewable energy.

Additionally, the Commission will strengthen the process for revoking ESCO eligibility to do business in New York if it is found in violation of State regulations.

A "do not knock" rule has been instituted that provides energy customers with the same freedom from unwarranted intrusion as those registered for "do not call" protections and a company's ability to do business in New York will be revoked if they ignore local solicitation rules regulating door-to-door selling at a residence or place of business.

The CEO of each ESCO, or designated officer, will also be required to submit a statement affirming that the company is in compliance with the new rules.