News Release - Mayor Evans, City Council Call on Public Service Commission to Investigate RG&E

City of Rochester 

News Release 

Mayor Evans, City Council Call on Public Service Commission to Investigate RG&E

(Friday, March 24, 2023) – Mayor Malik D. Evans and Rochester City Council have called on the N.Y. State Public Service Commission (PSC) to investigate Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation, questioning their commitment to Rochester. The Mayor and City Council are requesting that the PSC fund a study to evaluate a municipal takeover of the internationally owned utility’s regional operations.

“Our community is being failed by RG&E,” said Mayor Evans and City Council in a letter to PSC Secretary Michelle Phillips. “Please recognize that we are in a crisis. This frustration is not fleeting—RG&E has been divesting in our community for a long time. We need the PSC’s assistance and expertise to review their performance and to consider funding a study into moving away from RG&E in the near future.”

The letter cites RG&E’s audacious request for rate hikes amid the rising frustrations with its ongoing billing failures and shrinking investments in customer service. With cost of living expenses at a crisis point, especially for communities like Rochester with high rates of poverty, RG&E’s well-documented failures and skyrocketing energy bills are prompting increased demands in the Rochester community to conduct a study to municipalize RG&E.

“We are compelled by the idea of regaining local control of our public utility, as RG&E’s ownership and interests are now international,” the letter states. “Yet, we understand this is bigger than the City of Rochester, since RG&E is failing in nine counties in our region. We believe that N.Y. State and the PSC should be at the center of these discussions, and should ultimately fund a study to take over and improve RG&E’s operations.”

The letter points to the precedent of the State’s pivotal role in the1980 transition of the Long Island Lighting Co. to a public utility and suggest that any fines that might result from a PSC investigation into RG&E could offset the cost of the study.

“So we look to you for guidance on how best to proceed,” the letter states.