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Senate Passes Ratepayer Protections

Accurate Meter Readings: S1851A, sponsored by Senator Michelle Hinchey, directs utilities to file with the Public Service Commission a model procedure for calculating estimated utility bills and to use more actual meter readings.

Strengthen Utility Storm Response and Compliance: S4882, sponsored by Senator Shelley Mayer would incentivize better regulatory compliance by utilities through increased flexibility for the Public Service Commission to assess penalties on utilities for violations of the Public Service Law, and to expand emergency response plan requirements.

Utilities to Adopt the Common Equity Ratio: S6557A, sponsored by Senator Shelley Mayer would require electric corporations, gas corporations, steam corporations and water-works corporations to use standardized return on equity calculations set by the public service commission to prevent unjustifiable rate increases.

Utility Payment Plans: S1199A, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker would establish minimum standards for payment plans for eligible customers; requires the Public Service Commission to set standards for payment plans for certain customers including reasonableness of agreements and timelines for payment; establishes eligibility.

Affordable Payment Plans: S1200A, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker would require utility companies headquartered in New York to establish a statewide program to provide eligible participants with affordable payment plans.

Limits Fixed Charges: S1303, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker would direct the Department of Public Service to adjust each utility corporation's residential fixed charge upon such corporation's filing with the Department of rate schedule amendments, to recover only the fixed costs and operation and maintenance expenses directly related to metering, billing, service connections and the provision of customer service.

Utility Intervenor Reimbursement: S405, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker would authorize 'intervenors' who advocate on behalf of resident and small business consumers to apply for reimbursement for the costs attributable with participation in a Public Service Commission rate-making proceeding.

Civil Penalties for False Statements: S6710, sponsored by Senator James Skoufis would establish civil penalties for utilities that knowingly make false material statements to the Public Service Commission in relation to a rate-making proceeding.

Notification to Property Owners: S5130, sponsored by Senator Lea Webb would require corporations and municipal utilities to notify property owners prior to beginning scheduled service work that may interfere with a property owner's ability to enjoy, use, or access such property owner's property.