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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 Some information contained may be out-of-date, particularly listed telephone numbers.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.

Sources of Law

I. The Purpose Of This Booklet

II. How To Apply For Service

A. The application process
PSL Section 31; 16 NYCRR Section 11.3
B. Reasons the utility company can deny service
PSL Section 31; 16 NYCRR Section 11.3
C. When a security deposit is required
PSL Section 36; 16 NYCRR Section 11.12

III. How The Billing Process Works

PSL Section Section 38-39, Section Section 41-42;
Section 44; 16 NYCRR Section 11.11; Section Section 11.13-11.16

IV. When Utility Companies Can Terminate Service To Individually Metered Households

PSL Section 32; 16 NYCRR Section 11.4, Section 11.5

A. Termination due to an emergency
PSL Section 46; 16 NYCRR Section 11.18

B. Termination for nonpayment
16 NYCRR Section 11.4(a)

1. Notice you should receive prior to termination
16 NYCRR Section 11.4(b)-(d)
2. Notice to DSS
16 NYCRR Section 11.4(i)
3. Notice to third parties
PSL Section 40; 16 NYCRR Section 11.6

C. What may be done to prevent or delay termination
16 NYCRR Section 11.4 (e)-(g)

1. Payment
16 NYCRR Section 11.4(g)
2. Deferred payment agreements
PSL Section 37; 16 NYCRR Section 11.10
3. Special protections for some households
PSL Section 32(3); 16 NYCRR Section 11.5

a. Serious medical emergencies
PSL Section 32(3)(a); 16 NYCRR Section 11.5(a)
i. Life support systems
PSL Section 32(3)(a); 16 NYCRR Section 11.5(a)(5)

b. Customers who are elderly, blind or disabled
PSL Section 32(3)(b); 16 NYCRR Section 11.5(b)

c. Special procedures during cold weather periods
PSL Section 32(3)(c); 16 NYCRR Section 11.5(c)

V. When Utility Companies Can Terminate Service To Entire Buildings

PSL Section Section 33-34; 16 NYCRR Section 11.7, Section 11.8

A. Notice you should receive prior to termination
16 NYCRR Section 11.7(a), Section 1l.8(b),(c),(f) and (g)

B. What may be done to prevent or delay termination
16 NYCRR Section 11.7(b)-(f), Section 11.8(d)

1. Special procedures during cold weather periods
16 NYCRR Section 11.7(g); 11.8(h)

VI. Illegal Termination Of Service By Your Landlord

VII. How To Have Your Service Reconnected

PSL Section 35; 16 NYCRR Section 9

VIII. Shared Meter Law

PSL Section 52; 16 NYCRR Section Section 11.30-39

A. Landlord's responsibility for shared meter charges
PSL Section 52(1),(2); 16 NYCRR Section Section 11.30-31

B. Shared meter investigations
PSL Section 52(4), (5); 16 NYCRR Section Section 11.33-34

C. Termination of service to shared meter account
16 NYCRR Section 11.37

IX. Meter Seizure

C.P.L.R. Article 71

X. How To File A Complaint

PSL Section 43; 16NYCRR Section 11.20

A. Complaints to the utility company
PSL Section 43; 16 NYCRR Section 11.20(a)

B. Complaints to the Public Service Commissioner
PSL Section 43; 16 NYCRR Section 11.20(b)

XI. How To Get Emergency Help From The Department Of Social Services

SSL Section 131-s

A. Emergency grants to prevent termination of utilities
SSL Section 131-s

1. On-going recipients of Public Assistance
SSL Section 131-s(2)

2. Applicants for ongoing public assistance
SSL Section 131-s(1)

3. Households not eligible for public assistance
SSL Section 131-a

B. Home Energy Assistance (HEAP)
42 U.S.C. Section Section 8621, et seq.; SSL Section 97

1. Regular HEAP
42 U.S.C. Section Section 8621, et seq.; SSL Section 97

2. Emergency HEAP (E-HEAP)
42 U.S.C. Section Section 8621, et seq.; SSL Section 97

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