The following is a letter sent by Hudson Valley lawmakers to Carl Taylor, president of NYSEG:

Our offices have been inundated with [calls from] frustrated constituents who have recently received their electric bills for the month of January. Some claim their bills have quadrupled compared to the previous month. A recent review of your website shows no issuance of a press release to customers warning of this increase. Now, residents, such as the seniors in Heritage Hills of Somers, are grappling with the choice of paying to keep the heat on or buying their medication. Furthermore, these hikes come on the heels of several episodes which have left the same residents without power between the months of October and December; some even during the Christmas holiday.

We are pleased you have met with the supervisors of North Salem and Somers. Your recent meeting seems to have provided a capital improvement plan for this year geared toward addressing the issues voiced by local leaders. However, customers deserve an explanation of why their rates have ballooned at such an alarming rate. As state representatives, we are respectfully requesting information to provide to those impacted. Specifically, are the rate increases that customers are experiencing controlled by NYSEG? If not, please explain who or what is responsible for the increased rates. Is there a payment plan available to customers who are unable to pay the full cost of their most recent bill? What proactive measures does your company plan to implement to better communicate with customers about the potential for rate increases? In the same vein, what is your company’s plan to ensure customers are maximizing energy efficiencies?

We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your timely response.