ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is offering tips for customers dealing with expensive electricity bills.
“Hardworking New York families have enough to worry about, without having to wonder whether they’ll be able to afford their high heating bills,” Schneiderman said.
According to the Attorney General, electric rates for National Grid have gone up about 60- to 75-percent compared to the same time last year. His office continues to receive consumer complaints about high electric bills and is issuing the following tips to help:
- Know your rights. New York’s Home Energy Fair Practices Act entitles you to spread out unpaid bills in monthly installments for up to twelve months.
- If you are having difficulty paying your utility bill, call the number on your bill to request a deferred payment plan. Your power company is required to negotiate a deferred payment agreement with you based on your actual monthly income and expenses.
- If you believe that National Grid is failing to provide you with a deferred payment plan, call the Public Service Commission’s Consumer Services Division (800-342-3377).
- Your power company may not terminate your service for non-payment of arrears while you are working out a deferred payment agreement with the utility and the PSC.
- Once you enter into a deferred payment agreement, you must pay the installment plus the new monthly bill amounts to prevent termination of your service.
If you have any questions or would like to file a complaint, call the Attorney General’s consumer hotline at (800) 771-7755.