BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – State Senator Lea Webb is fighting back against proposed NYSEG rate hikes at a time when pandemic moratoriums on shut-offs and bill collections are coming to an end.

Webb and a fellow Democratic Assembly member have written a letter to Governor Hochul and the Public Service Commission asking them to reject proposed rate hikes of 34.9% for electric and 14.9% for gas.

Webb says her constituents, especially those on fixed incomes, can’t afford it.

She says the issue is compounded by the documented problems in the utility’s billing department which has lead to some customers being double-billed.

“I’ve had constituents who have had to literally choose between paying rent or paying the utility bill because the utility bill mis in the thousands of dollars. They can’t simply afford to pay that and their rent.”

NYSEG would not comment on the specific rate increases saying they are still a matter of negotiation.

But it says the proposal is intended to improve customer experience and provide benefits for its most vulnerable users.

Meanwhile, this all comes at a time when a pandemic moratorium is ending on shutting off customers who are behind in payments and referring them to debt collectors.

NYSEG stresses that it has programs in place to assist struggling customers.

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