- Tenants were not properly or timely informed of the submetering plan and of the opportunity and ways to comment to the PSC prior to issuance of the submetering order
- No charges are due because there is no valid filed tariff or agreed-upon contract for service containing the rates, terms and conditions of electric service, which were required to have been incorporated into THWA Tenants' leases by the PSC's submetering order
- Complaint procedures required by the PSC submetering order do not comply with HEFPA
- Proper Notice of Complaint Procedures was Not Provided to Tenants
- The "No Termination" policy circumvents HEFPA protections
- Violation of the Rate Cap
- The owner's scheme for allocation of rent and electric payments, coupled with no complaint procedures and the "deeming" of electric charges as additional rent are a method to displace low income tenants
- Energy inefficiencies of owner owned and controlled property increase tenants' costs for electricity
- Tenants received no "shadow billing" prior to implementation of submetering
The PSC has allowed owners to "deem" charges for electricity to be "rent" -- while DHCR does not consider electricity charges to be rent. In effect, the agencies have allowed "rent" increases in excess of the limits of the rent stabilization laws and enabled landlords to threaten eviction to collect unpaid or disputed charges, circumventing the procedures and utility customer protections of the Home Energy Fair Practices Act (HEFPA). This strategy to avoid the "bothersome" utility consumer protection laws and complaint procedures by "deeming" electric charges to be rent and evicting tenants for nonpayment is suggested to landlords in a NYSERDA manual for submeterers.
Tenants are represented by PULP. For more information see PULP's webpage on submetering.