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Skoufis Lodges Protest Re. Central Hudson Rate Hike Plan Amid Continuing Billing Complaints



August 10, 2023

Hon. Commissioner Rory Christian

New York State Public Service Commission

Empire State Plaza

Agency Building 3

Albany, NY 12223-1350


Dear Commissioner Christian:


I write to urge the Public Service Commission (PSC) to reject the rate hike proposed by Central Hudson Gas and Electric (“Company”) in light of the ongoing investigation actively underway. Findings of the investigation regarding the Company’s recent billing system malfunctions and rate surge will be determinative as the PSC considers any rate hike request. I appreciate the PSC requiring the Company to pay for an independent, third-party monitor,

however, the very existence of the monitor demonstrates the need for a ratepayer-first approach as you consider the rate hike proposal that is before the PSC. The Company’s ratepayers have already endured significant, blunt-force financial and emotional trauma as a direct result of the Company’s irresponsible actions over the past number of years.


While the Company claims to have reduced its billing system errors down to 1% of its customer base, my office continues to receive constituent complaints relating to billing system errors and errors in meter readings. These claims should be rectified entirely before any consideration is given to a rate increase. As you are aware, the Company began transitioning to a new billing system in August of 2021, and even with public pressure and regulatory

oversight, over two years later, this faulty system continues to wreak havoc on its customers.


The recent price surges experienced by the Company’s customers, paired with billing system errors, incorrect meter readings and horrendous customer service practices are contributing to financial pain for the families, businesses, and seniors that I represent—all of whom cannot afford this increased financial burden. In light of the above, I implore the PSC to do the right

thing and outright reject the rate hike proposal.


If I can offer any further information or assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Sincerely,


James Skoufis

Senator, 42nd District

CC:

Commissioner Diane X. Burman

Commissioner James S. Alesi

Commissioner John B. Howard

Commissioner Tracey A. Edwards

Commissioner David J. Valesky

Commissioner John B. Maggiore

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