O&R customers vent frustrations on proposed rate hikesPosted: Updated:
Orange and Rockland Utilities customers vented their frustrations Wednesday night at a public forum on proposed rate hikes.
Many residents saw huge increases during the winter, and now O&R is proposing a rate hike that many people say they can't afford.
The meeting was organized by state Sen. David Carlucci, who opposes the rate hike proposal.
"I had over a hundred complaints just from the January bill," Carlucci said.
As News 12 has reported, many residents saw huge jumps in their electricity bills this winter, but those increases were due to high demand, which increased the price of energy.
While the company can't control the prices, it can control the supply charge, which it wants to increase.
The panel, including a representative from O&R, explained the rate hike and programs where some residents may qualify for assistance.
"About 18 percent of our bill is taxes and we have other costs associated with buying a business," said Mike Donovan, a spokesperson for O&R.
Richard Berkley, with the Public Utility law project, said New Yorkers pay some of the highest utilities in the country.
Sen. Carlucci will be hosting a utility law clinic next month to help residents struggling to pay their utility bills.