Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced on Tuesday, April 25, that he will be holding a hearing with Senator Michelle Hinchey and Assemblymember Kevin Cahill to collect testimony from individuals impacted by Central Hudson’s billing practices. The hearing will take place on Tuesday, May 3rd, at 6PM at Kingston High School, 403 Broadway in Kingston. All comments collected will be provided to the Department of Public Service (DPS) investigation into Central Hudson’s customer information system implementation and resulting billing errors.
“This is an urgent issue for countless residents across Ulster County who have been severely impacted by the failed implementation of Central Hudson’s new billing system, which was compounded by unexpected and unprecedented bill surges,” Ryan said.
“Many of our friends and neighbors have been experiencing issues with our utility supplier, ranging from an absence of billing for months on end, sustained estimated readings and charges wildly out of proportion for actual usage,” Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill said. “This forum will allow Central Hudson to hear first hand how these business practices have harmed their customers and will certainly be useful in the Public Service Commission’s investigation.”
Triggered by a formal request for investigation on March 3rd by the County Executive, DPS opened matter number 22-00666 to investigate problems with Central Hudson’s billing practices. Other matters open with DPS are an investigation into Central Hudson’s winter storm response (matter number 22-00497) and an audit into Central Hudson’s billing practices (matter number 21-M-0541). Since County Executive Ryan encouraged impacted residents to submit comments on the DPS investigation on March 30th, there have been over 3,000 complaints received. Since September, at least 11,000 Central Hudson electricity customers have experienced billing problems.
Central Hudson customers who have been impacted by the implementation of Central Hudson’s new billing system, and who have not been able to resolve their issues with the utility, may submit public comment on the DPS investigation through the online form. It is anticipated that the DPS investigation will go on for several months.
For additional assistance with resolving individual matters, individuals can file a formal complaint with DPS online or by calling 800-342-3377.
Ulster County residents who do not have computer access or a valid email address and can not make it to the public hearing may call 845-443-8888 for assistance with submitting public comment on the investigation.