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A December 2022 report released by the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) has strongly criticized public utility company Central Hudson regarding their “excessive and delayed bills, and a lack of customer support.” The report referenced an $88 million dollar upgrade to their billing system in an effort to “have a system that could properly handle complex billing scenarios.” However, the report concluded that the development and implementation of that upgrade “was riddled with Company missteps.”
The County has paid Central Hudson well over $1 million every year since 2019. Considering the conclusions reached in this report, Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois wants to reassure taxpayers that the 100+ accounts used by the County since the implementation of their new billing system have been rigorously monitored with no glaring or concerning financial disparities. It was noted that the company did struggle with applying ACH or electronic payments from the County; an initiative that the Comptroller had been spearheading for the last few years.
“Our attempt to implement direct deposit with Central Hudson, for the ease of the Vendor and the County, was unsuccessful, largely due to the company’s inability to apply the payments correctly,” explained Comptroller Lois. “The company was signed up for only a few months before we had to revert back to paper checks. It is therefore not surprising that a state agency has found so many issues.”
The Comptroller’s Office commends the time and effort given by multiple County departments to get Central Hudson on board with the ACH directive and aspires to sign them up again in the future. The Comptroller is hopeful that the DPS report will result in substantial and tangible change at the company, and billing will become less complicated for taxpayers as well as County employees.