Groden, Ryan call on PSC to investigate Central Hudson billing practices
Andrea Macko is reporting for Porcupine Soup Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden is calling on the New York State Public Service Commission for answers about Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp’s recent billing practices. In a letter sent March 4, to Rory Christian, PSC chair, Groden said county lawmakers have received a “substantial number of complaints” from residents about the Poughkeepsie-based utility. “The extreme increase in the cost of electricity by itself is more than enough to upset our constituents, but that is not their only complaint,” Groden wrote. “Citizens are complaining about Central Hudson’s ‘approximate’ billing, resulting in huge bills, plus others are not getting billed for several months, only to receive four or five enormous bills in a single day.” County residents have taken to social media, voicing frustration with electric bills that in some cases have gone from what would normally be hundreds of dollars per month to thousands. The utility advised the public last month that increases in supply prices for both electricity and natural gas as the region navigates a colder than average winter, and global energy factors, were causing an increase in the demand and price for energy. And while Central Hudson projected an average increase of 46 percent for electric customers, some have reported bills as much as 10 times higher than usual. Last week, Central Hudson warned that global events and strong demand for energy worldwide continue to press energy prices upward. Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan this week also submitted a letter to the PSC calling for an official investigation into Central Hudson’s billing practices and related price surges. According to Ryan, at least 11,000 Central Hudson electricity customers have experienced billing problems since September. Read the full story at porcupinesoup [dot] com.