HomeRegional StatewideNY’ers Now Protected Against Surprise Spikes in Energy BillsNY’ers Now Protected Against Surprise Spikes in Energy BillsWed, September 20, 2023 by Lucas Day SHARE NOW pxhere A bill signed into law on Wednesday is designed to protect New York consumers from surprise price increases to their energy bills. The bill signed by Governor Kathy Hochul requires energy service companies to obtain the consent of the customer before any material price increases. Legislation (A.703-A/S.683-A) is intended to protect ESCO customers from surprise price increases to their energy bills. It amends the General Business Law to declare a change in the price or type of price for an energy service to be a “material” change which would require the consent of the customer. The bill also includes a provision that the energy provider shall disclose information about the current price of services, any proposed price changes, distribution prices, and where the customer may view their past bills if there is to be a material change. An ESCO is an entity eligible to sell electricity and/or natural gas to customers using the transmission or distribution system of a utility. Approximately 1.6 million customers, including 900,000 electric and 700,000 gas customers, receive their energy supply from an ESCO, as compared to the more 7.2 million electric customers and approximately 4 million natural gas customers who receive their supply from a traditional utility. There are 154 ESCOs currently operating in New York. “Every New Yorker deserves affordable energy and I am proud to sign this legislation that puts consumers first,” Governor Hochul said. “My administration continues to take action to make energy more affordable in New York State, and with this legislation we are taking a significant step toward protecting consumers from surprise price increases to their energy bills.” Utility supply and ESCO supply pricing does fluctuate with global commodity prices, and the Public Service Commission regularly reports on supply price forecasts prior to winter heating and summer cooling seasons, and the Commission also requires utilities to have robust communication with their customers about price forecasts. This legislation helps provide additional PSC oversight of ESCO supply pricing to protect and educate customers. Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.