Bill Text: NY S04823 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Prohibits utility companies from harassing, oppressing or abusing any residential customer in connection with the handling of a residential customer complaint, the offering and/or negotiating of a deferred payment agreement, or the collection of an unpaid balance or any other obligation owed by such customer.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-06-10 - SUBSTITUTED BY A3359 [S04823 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-S04823-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          4823

                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                    February 12, 2021
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  Sen.  COMRIE -- 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 prohibiting util-
          ity  companies  from  harassing, oppressing or abusing any residential
          customer in connection with the handling  of  a  complaint  or  unpaid
          balance

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. The public service law is amended by adding a  new  section
     2  53-a to read as follows:
     3    §  53-a.  Prohibition  of  utilities  engaging  in detrimental conduct
     4  towards a residential customer. 1.  A  utility  corporation  or  munici-
     5  pality, or energy services companies subject to the department's uniform
     6  business  practices  and  section  three  hundred  forty-nine  and three
     7  hundred forty-nine-d of the general business law, also known  as  ESCOs,
     8  shall  not  engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to
     9  harass, oppress, or abuse any residential customer  in  connection  with
    10  the  handling  of  a residential customer complaint, the offering and/or
    11  negotiating of a deferred payment agreement, or  the  collection  of  an
    12  unpaid balance or any other obligation owed by such customer.
    13    2.  All utilities or municipal utilities or ESCOs in violation of this
    14  section shall be subject to fines,  penalties  and  enforcement  by  the
    15  department pursuant to sections twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-five-a,
    16  and  twenty-six  of  this chapter, and all such other legal or equitable
    17  remedies as may be necessary or convenient for protection  of  consumers
    18  against  the  prohibited  behaviors described in subdivision one of this
    19  section.
    20    3. The commission shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary  to
    21  implement and enforce the provisions of this section.

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD08935-01-1

        S. 4823                             2

     1    §  2.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
     2  have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or
     3  repeal of any rule or regulation necessary  for  the  implementation  of
     4  this  act  on its effective date are authorized to be made and completed
     5  on or before such effective date.
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