Assemblyman Saladino Introduces Energy Bill of Rights

January 27, 2009
Assemblyman Joseph S. Saladino today announced that Assembly bill A.1558 has passed the Consumer Protection Committee. It addresses the rising costs of energy, utility bills and home heating fuels. The legislation establishes a consumer’s Bill of Rights for energy services.

“I have worked on this important issue to help create a bill of legal rights for potential consumers or consumers who may be duped into signing higher contracts and abandoning their old contracts due to incomplete information. With the expansion and recent exploration of natural resources here in New York state, consumers have been encouraged to switch service providers from traditional utilities to energy service companies. I understand that every effort must be made to make energy and utilities more affordable for New Yorkers,” said Assemblyman Saladino.

High-pressure and misleading sales tactics, onerous contracts with unreadable fine print, short-term “teaser” rates followed by skyrocketing variable prices are only some of the problem tactics recently seen. This all comes while homeowners are struggling with ever-increasing costs.

This bill will require the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to adopt new regulations and guidelines imposed on energy service companies, which could then be enforced by the Attorney General in the case of violation or infringement on behalf of the energy provider.

“The need for heightened consumer protection appears to be on the rise and seniors and other consumers need protection from unscrupulous tactics. At a time when too many levels of government represent rising costs, it is imperative to pass this legislation in order to protect consumers from unfair and unaffordable increases,” stated Assemblyman Saladino.