Carlucci pushes Cuomo to appoint consumer advocate to PSC

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Seniors across the Hudson Valley say they are tired of paying outrageous rate hikes for utilities, and state Sen. David Carlucci (D) is pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would appoint a consumer advocate, someone who fights for the people, to the Public Service Commission.

The state-run agency decides whether - and by how much - utility bills go up every year.

The seniors who attended the annual Senior Fair at Rockland Community College in Suffern told News 12 those rate hikes are a big problem.

"We need heat, we need electricity. These are not things we can live without, especially seniors. Some seniors are on machines that require electricity. So you cannot have that and not pay your bill," said Bridget Gladwin, of Airmont.

A total of 40 states already have consumer utility advocates, who lawmakers say have saved residents billions of dollars.

The bill has already passed the Legislature and has been sitting on Gov. Cuomo's desk since June. Lawmakers say all he has to do is sign it for the consumer advocate to happen.

The PSC just approved a rate hike for O&R customers that will increase electric bills an average of almost $3 per month. As for Suez Water, the company is currently asking the PSC to approve a nearly 19% rate hike over the next three years.

 

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