ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – WETM’s sister station in Albany received an email from a viewer concerned about significant increases seen from New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG) customers. A NYSEG representative said the company warned customers of the potential increases and has been doing what it can.

There were many reports of substantially higher bills over the past few billing cycles in a local community group on Facebook with some NYSEG customers saying bills were between two and four times higher than the previous month.

Head of Communication for Avangrid Networks, the company that owns NYSEG, Mike Jamison said the company understands customers’ frustration but stressed that NYSEG has no control over the price of electricity, which is on the rise.

Essentially the cost of electricity is passed onto NYSEG customers. NYSEG purchases the amount of energy it thinks its customers are going to need daily. When energy prices go up, as they have in recent weeks, NYSEG has no choice but to bill customers according to those prices, explained Jamison.

Unfortunately, it takes natural gas to produce some energy which can also impact the price of electricity. The price increases are being seen throughout the U.S. and beyond. In Europe prices of natural gas are up 500% Jamison said.

Although NYSEG has been trying to mitigate the cost of electricity where it can, there are NYSEG customers who may have been feeling the sting of a much larger bill over others. Customers on the Day/Night plan are at the mercy of the market, according to Jamison.

Depending on how much electricity customers use at night Day/Night customers receive savings. But NYSEG said there is a higher meter charge per month. The cost per kilowatt-hour for electricity during the day is also higher than their regular residential service rate.

“We want customers to pay as little as possible,” Jamison said. “We don’t want to see customers struggle.” Jamison encourages customers who need extra time or help paying their bills, to call customer service to learn about a payment plan or explore other options. The company is also encouraging people to find ways to make their homes or businesses more energy efficient.

NYSEG has a walkthrough on its website for customers who want to understand their bills better. Customers who cannot pay their bills may still be eligible for energy assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). New Yorkers can check their eligibility for HEAP on the state’s website.

NYSEG customers who feel like they have not gotten sufficient help from the company regarding billing matters can file a complaint through the Public Service Commission’s website.