File #: Int 0372-2022    Version: Name: Creation of an office of the utility advocate within the department of consumer and worker protection.
Type: Introduction Status: Enacted
Committee: Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection
On agenda: 5/19/2022
Enactment date: 8/14/2022 Law number: 2022/080
Title: A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to the creation of an office of the utility advocate
Sponsors: Adrienne E. Adams, Kalman Yeger , Farah N. Louis, Sandy Nurse, Shekar Krishnan, Mercedes Narcisse, Shaun Abreu, Lincoln Restler, Chi A. Ossé, Carmen N. De La Rosa, Eric Dinowitz, Nantasha M. Williams, Alexa Avilés, Linda Lee, James F. Gennaro, Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, (by request of the Manhattan Borough President)
Council Member Sponsors: 16
Summary: This bill would establish an Office of the Utility Advocate. The Office would be charged with receiving feedback from City customers on their utility providers; advocating for utility customers at public hearings; assisting utility customers with accessing financial help to pay their utility bills; and educating City utility customers on their rights and methods to lower their utility bills.
Attachments: 1. Summary of Int. No. 372-A, 2. Summary of Int. No. 372, 3. Int. No. 372, 4. May 19, 2022 - Stated Meeting Agenda, 5. Committee Report 6/30/22, 6. Hearing Testimony 6/30/22, 7. Proposed Int. No. 372-A - 7/7/22, 8. Committee Report 7/13/22, 9. Committee Report - Stated Meeting, 10. July 14, 2022 - Stated Meeting Agenda, 11. Fiscal Impact Statement, 12. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 5-19-22, 13. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - May 19, 2022
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
8/15/2022AAdrienne E. Adams City Council Returned Unsigned by Mayor  Action details Meeting details Not available
8/14/2022AAdrienne E. Adams Administration City Charter Rule Adopted  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/14/2022AAdrienne E. Adams City Council Sent to Mayor by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/14/2022AAdrienne E. Adams City Council Approved by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
7/13/2022*Adrienne E. Adams Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/13/2022*Adrienne E. Adams Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection Amendment Proposed by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/13/2022*Adrienne E. Adams Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection Amended by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/13/2022AAdrienne E. Adams Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
6/30/2022*Adrienne E. Adams Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
6/30/2022*Adrienne E. Adams Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/19/2022*Adrienne E. Adams City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/19/2022*Adrienne E. Adams City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Int. No. 372-A

 

By The Speaker (Council Member Adams) and Council Members Yeger, Louis, Nurse, Krishnan, Narcisse, Abreu, Restler, Ossé, De La Rosa, Dinowitz, Williams, Avilés, Lee, Gennaro and Brooks-Powers (by request of the Manhattan Borough President)

 

A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to the creation of an office of the utility advocate

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

 

Section 1. Chapter 1 of the charter of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 20-n to read as follows:

§ 20-n. Office of the utility advocate. a. For the purposes of this section, the term “utility” means a provider of electric, gas, or steam service in the city. 

b. The mayor shall establish an office of the utility advocate. Such office may be established within any office of the mayor or as a separate office of any department the head of which is appointed by the mayor. Such office shall be headed by an individual who shall be appointed by the mayor or, if the office is established within an agency other than the office of the mayor, by the head of such agency. Such office shall:

1. Establish a website, email address and telephone number to receive communications from utility customers on their utility services;

2. Advocate on behalf of utility customers by providing testimony for public hearings. Such public hearings shall include, but need not be limited to, rate cases conducted by the public service commission;

3. Conduct outreach and provide educational materials to the public on choosing, starting and stopping utility services; methods to lower the cost of their utility bills; and utility complaint procedures; and

4. Assist consumers with accessing and navigating financial aid available to cover utility costs.

c. In performing the duties of the office, the director shall regularly consult with 311; the department of social services; the office of financial empowerment at the department of consumer and worker protection; the mayor’s office of long-term planning and sustainability, or its successor office or agency; and any other agency or office the director deems necessary to further the duties of the office.

§ 2. This local law takes effect on September 1, 2023, except that the mayor shall take such measures as are necessary for the implementation of this local law, before such date.

 

 

 

SJ/DSS

LS #514, 5845, 8356, 8423

7/6/22