Thursday, April 23, 2009

PSC Launches Seven Low Income Conferences as Utility Shutoffs Soar

Last year, electric and natural gas service to 330,000 New York customers was interrupted as a bill collection measure when they could not afford to pay their bills. See PSC Reports on Devastating Termination Statistics. This year, with many more New Yorkers having lost their jobs and a worse economic climate, the number of utility shutoffs may increase.

As warmer weather brings more shut offs -- May is typically the month when service terminations peak -- the Public Service Commission (PSC) Office of Consumer Services and NYSERDA will hit the road to hold a series of meetings at seven conference centers and hotels across the state to discuss low income utility customer issues.

According to yesterday's PSC press release, the meeting schedule for its Low Income Forum on Energy ("LIFE") is as follows:

April 30 Bay Ridge Manor, Brooklyn
May 5 Holiday Mountain, Ellicottville
May 6 Red Mill Inn, Syracuse
May 7 Binghamton Regency Hotel, Binghamton
May 12 Ramada Inn West Point, Newburgh
May 13 Riverstone Manor, Schenectady
May 14 The Wild Center, Tupper Lake

According to the PSC Press Release
LIFE is the nation’s longest running statewide dialogue on the energy needs of lowincome customers and has built a reputation as an interactive exchange of ideas and resources. This year’s regional meetings will build on lessons learned in prior LIFE conferences and will feature sessions on emerging energy issues, consumer education, and information on some of the resource programs that assist low-income energy customers.
The agenda for the meetings is here. Online registration information is here.

PULP lacks staffing and financial resources to attend and participate fully in the LIFE conferences.

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