Relates to the types of complaints which may be filed with the public service commission and requires the form and instructions for completing the form to be published on the commission's website.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to filing complaints with the public service commission
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To explicitly allow complaints about the duration of an electric or gas outage to be made to the Public Service Commission and to require that an appropriate complaint form be published on the Commission's website.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The bill modifies Section 71 of the Public Service Law to ensure that its provisions about gas or electric complaints to the Public Service Commission explicitly include complaints regarding the duration of outages. The bill also requires the Public Service Commission to post a complaint form along with instructions on its website to comply with this portion of the law, as the Commission's existing online complaint form does not.
JUSTIFICATION: In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, one of the worst natural disasters in New York's history, we need to facilitate the ability of people to make complaints to the Public Service Commission, which provides oversight of New York's utility companies. Section 71 of the existing Public Service Law establishes a procedure for groups of customers or local elected officials to file complaints regarding gas or electric service. This bill ensures that disruptions in gas or electricity service are a proper basis for filing such a complaint. Furthermore, this bill remedies the fact that the Public Service Commission has not posted on its website a complaint form that complies with this section of the law. The only complaint form provided on the Commission's current website is for individuals rather than groups of customers or elected officials, and omits complaints regarding extended delays in restoring service.
In summary, this legislation ensures a forum for complaint to the Public Service Commission, particularly as it relates to extended power outages, and establishes that the complaint procedures will be easily accessible on the Commission's website with clearly delineated forms and instructions.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state or to local governments
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4925 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 1, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to filing complaints with the public service commission THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 71 of the public service law, as amended by section 48 of part A of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: S 71. Complaints as to quality and price of gas and electricity; investigation by commission; forms of complaints. Upon the complaint in writing of the mayor of a city, the trustees of a village, the town board of a town or the chief executive officer or the legislative body of a county in which a person or corporation is authorized to manufac- ture, convey, transport, sell or supply gas or electricity for heat, light or power, or upon the complaint in writing of not less than twen- ty-five customers or purchasers of such gas or electricity, or upon the complaint in writing of the department of state, or upon a complaint of a gas corporation or electrical corporation supplying or transmitting said gas or electricity, as to the illuminating or heating power, purity or pressure or the rates, charges or classifications of service of gas, the efficiency of the electric incandescent lamp supply, the voltage of the current supplied for light, heat or power, or the rates charged or classification of service of electricity sold and delivered in such municipality, OR AS TO THE EXTENT OR DURATION OF A DISRUPTION IN GAS OR ELECTRICITY SERVICE, the commission shall investigate as to the cause for such complaint. When such complaint is made, the commission may, by its agents, examiners and inspectors, inspect the works, system, plant, devices, appliances and methods used by such person or corporation in manufacturing, transmitting and supplying such gas or electricity, andEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08324-02-3 S. 4925 2
may examine or cause to be examined the books and papers of such person, or corporation pertaining to the manufacture, sale, transmitting and supplying of such gas or electricity. The form and contents of complaints made as provided in this section shall be prescribed by the commission. Such complaints shall be signed by the officers, or by the customers, purchasers or subscribers making them, who must add to their signatures their places of residence, by street and number, if any. THE COMMISSION SHALL PUBLISH THE FORM AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE FORM ON THE COMMISSION'S WEBSITE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.