Directs DPS to Examine Steps to Ensure National Grid Immediately Provides Service to Customers Affected by Such Refusals & Impose Appropriate Penalties and Sanctions
Governor Cuomo: "I direct you to consider alternatives to National Grid as franchisee for some or all of the areas it currently serves"
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued a letter directing the Department of Public Service to broaden its investigation into National Grid's refusal of service. In the letter, the Governor directed DPS to ensure National Grid immediately provides service to customers who were improperly refused service and impose penalties and sanctions, as appropriate. If National Grid is unable to provide safe, affordable and reliable service to these existing customers, the Governor has directed DPS to consider alternatives to National Grid as a franchisee for some or all of the areas it currently serves.
The full text of the letter is available below:
The Department of Public Service is investigating National Grid's implementation of its moratorium on service to certain natural gas customers. My Administration has received reports that National Grid is refusing service to some customers who initiated new construction projects well before National Grid's announcement of its moratorium, including affordable housing developments. If these reports are accurate, National Grid is delaying, if not denying, services needed to shelter disadvantaged families.
We have also received reports of incidents in which customers requested suspension of their natural gas service in order to make building renovations, and upon seeking resumption of service, were refused by National Grid - including reported denials of service to homeowners, to small businesses, and to at least one nonprofit organization operating a senior center. If these reports are accurate, National Grid's refusal to resume service could endanger the health and safety of New Yorkers. Affected homeowners likely include families without the means to secure alternative residences, and National Grid's refusal of service could deprive these families of heat as temperatures fall. In the case of the nonprofit, National Grid's refusal to resume service could leave seniors without a safe place to receive meals and companionship.
I direct you to broaden your ongoing investigation to include investigation of these reported incidents. If you find that National Grid is refusing service in the circumstances described above, I direct you (1) to take any steps within your authority to ensure that National Grid immediately provides service to customers affected by such refusals, asappropriate, and (2) to impose appropriate penalties and sanctions. Further, if National Grid is unable to provide safe, affordable and reliable service to existing customers, or is unable to properly plan so that it is able to serve new customers, I direct you to consider alternatives to National Grid as franchisee for some or all of the areas it currently serves.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo