A Tenant's Guide to Getting and Keeping Gas and Electricity Service

TenantNet note: This booklet was published by Brooklyn Legal Services in 1995. Some information contained may be out-of-date, particularly listed telephone numbers. As far as we know, there have been no updates to this publication. While much of the information may still be valid, the reader should exercise caution.

1995 Edition
Prepared by
Brooklyn Legal Services, Corp. B.
105 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Funded Through
Legal Services of New York
350 Broadway
New York, NY 10013

The opinions expressed herein are those of Brooklyn Legal Services Corp. B staff and should not be construed as representing the opinion or policy of any agency of tee United States government.

This booklet reflects the efforts of Joyce Heller, Maria E. Navarro, Raun Rasmussen, Jon C. Gray, Jr., Arlene Hansen and Carmen I. Velez. We have relied heavily on the work and expertise of the Public Utilities Law Project. We have also benefitted greatly from the expertise of various personnel at Brooklyn Union, Consolidated Edison and the Public Service Commission in writing this booklet, and are extremely grateful for their help. We are indebted to Joshua Gray, who wrote early drafts of this manual while an intern in this office. Brooklyn Legal Services, Corp. B takes full responsibility for any errors or omissions.

Table of Contents

I. The Purpose Of This Booklet

II. Now To Apply For Service

    A. The application process
    B. When the utility company can deny you service
    C. When a security deposit is required

III. How The Billing Process Works

    * How to get the Brooklyn Union residential reduced rate

IV. When A Utility Company Can Terminate Service To Individual Households

    A. Termination due to an emergency
    B. Termination for nonpayment
      1. Notice you should receive prior to termination
      2. Notice to the Human Resources Administration
      3. Notice to third parties
    C. What you can do to prevent or delay termination
      1. Payment
      2. Deferred payment agreements
      3. Special protections
        a. Medical emergency
          i. Life support systems
        b. Elderly, blind or disabled
        c. Heat-related service in winter

V. When A Utility Company Can Terminate Service To An Entire Building

    A. Notice you should receive prior to termination
    B. What you can do to prevent or delay termination
      1. Heat-related service in winter

VI. Illegal Termination Of Service By Your Landlord

VII. How To Have Your Service Reconnected

VIII. How To Deal With A "Shared Meter"

    A. Shared meter investigations
    B. Termination of service to shared meter account

IX. What To Do If The Utility Company Threatens To Seize Your Meter

X How To Make A Complaint

    A. Complaints to the utility company
    B. Complaints to the Public Service Commission
      1. Consumer Appeals

XI. How To Get Emergency Help From The Human Resources Administration

    A. Emergency grants to prevent termination of utilities
      1. For recipients of public assistance
      2. For applicants for ongoing public assistance
      3. For households not eligible for public assistance
    B. Home Energy Assistance Program
      1. Regular HEAP
      2. Emergency HEAP
      3. Subsidized Housing

XII. How To Get Help From Other City Agencies

    A. The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
    B. Buildings Department
    C. Bureau of Electrical Control

Important Phone Numbers

Sources Of Law

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