‘We were shocked’: Marion family facing nearly $1K utility bill

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Gas & Electric customers are not the only ones seeing huge increases on their utility bills. NYSEG customers are paying more too.

Sunday night, we told you RG&E customers have contacted News10NBC stunned over recent bills. We talked to an NYSEG customer who’s asking why her bill has more than doubled.

We visited Jennifer Young and her family at their home in Marion. Young said her normal winter bills have always been manageable, but her latest bill has them wondering how they’re going to pay for it.

"We were shocked," Young said. "It’s a lot of money. It’s almost $1,000."

Young and her family can’t believe how much they’re being charged on their latest NYSEG electric bill. She said her typical winter bill is around $400 and her last bill is $925.19.

"With everything that’s—prices going up on everything—it’s just getting scary because we’re a family of five," Young said. "Both parents work, and things are really tight because of this."

Young’s husband was on the phone for over an hour waiting to talk to customer service about their bill. Both say the family hasn’t done anything differently in terms of their power usage causing their payment to spike.

"We went back and looked at our prior months and, for the last 2 years, it’s been the same usage for this time of the year that we’ve had," Young said.

News10NBC contacted NYSEG to see what’s behind the bill hike. Director of Communications Michael Jamison told us the high price of natural gas is affecting the market.

"So what you’re seeing reflected in bills is the actual cost of electricity going up in the marketplace, and unfortunately NYSEG, and RG&E are in the position of having to pass that cost through to customers. The companies do not make money on the supply of electricity, or natural gas," Jamison said.

Both RG&E and NYSEG are willing to help their customers through different types of payment options, but even that is being met with some skepticism.

"Our fear is if next month’s bill is just this high, isn’t it just going to keep accumulating, and getting bigger and bigger, and we get further and further behind," Young said.

State Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D, 56) said he understands that gas prices have risen nationally. He released a statement saying, "My office is aware of the unexpectedly large utility bills arriving in mailboxes across Rochester. While we understand gas prices have risen nationally, it is imperative we take action to protect ratepayers here at home. I am committed to working with my colleagues in the Legislature and Governor Hochul to ensure no New Yorker is forced to choose between putting food on the table or keeping their lights on and heat running. As we continue to advocate for the people of New York, I encourage anyone struggling to pay for utilities to reach out to my office at 585-225-3650 about the NY Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)."

Both companies have energy-saving tips that can help lower your monthly bill. That information can be found on your bills themselves, or on the RG&E and NYSEG websites.