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S01949 Text:

                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                         1949

                              2015-2016 Regular Sessions

                                   I N  S E N A T E

                                   January 15, 2015
                                      ___________

       Introduced  by  Sen.  LIBOUS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
         printed to be committed to the Committee on  Energy  and  Telecommuni-
         cations

       AN  ACT  to  direct the public service commission to study and report on
         streamlining orders and actions associated with bills for  residential
         electric,  gas, telephone and water customers; and to amend the public
         service law, in relation to directing the public service commission to
         develop recommendations for standardized, uniform and easy  to  under-
         stand utility bills

         THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
       BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    1    Section 1. (a) The public service commission is directed to study  the
    2  past  orders  and  actions  related  to  matters  which required billing
    3  messages that were developed prior to industry competition and that  may
    4  be  creating confusing bills for residential customers of electric, gas,
    5  telephone and water companies. Specifically, such study shall review the
    6  past commission orders and actions and determine which bill messages are
    7  no longer  relevant  and  should  be  removed  because  the  information
    8  required  to be included in the consumer bills is no longer relevant and
    9  may be largely ignored by most consumers.  In  such  cases,  the  public
   10  service  commission  shall  no  longer  require  this  information to be
   11  included in customer bills, but can make such information available  via
   12  the  utility company's public website in lieu of requiring this informa-
   13  tion in consumer bills. In completing this  study,  the  public  service
   14  commission shall reduce bill messages that are no longer needed.
   15    (b)  This  study  shall  result in a report, which details all billing
   16  related orders and commission actions that are no longer  necessary  and
   17  can  hinder  companies  from  providing  streamlined consumer bills. The
   18  study and report shall be filed, on or before December  31,  2016,  with
   19  the governor, the director of the division of budget, the speaker of the
   20  assembly, the temporary president of the senate, the chair of the assem-

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD07234-01-5
       S. 1949                             2

    1  bly  way  and means committee, the chair of the senate finance committee
    2  and the chairs of  the  assembly  standing  committee  on  corporations,
    3  authorities and commissions and the senate energy and telecommunications
    4  committee.  Such study and report shall also be posted on the website of
    5  the public service commission by December 31, 2016 and shall be deemed a
    6  public document.
    7    S 2. Section 5 of the public service law is amended by  adding  a  new
    8  subdivision 7 to read as follows:
    9    7.  THE  COMMISSION  SHALL  DEVELOP  AND  PUBLISH  RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
   10  PROVIDERS OF ELECTRIC, GAS, STEAM, TELEPHONE AND WATER SERVICES FOR  THE
   11  ESTABLISHMENT  OF  AN  IMPROVED  BILLING  SYSTEM  FOR  EACH TYPE OF SUCH
   12  SERVICE PROVIDERS AND FOR BILLS THAT ARE STANDARDIZED, UNIFORM AND  EASY
   13  TO UNDERSTAND.
   14    S  3.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
   15  have become a law.
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