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Energy Choice FAQs » Central Hudson » Energy Choice » Energy Choice FAQs

Popular Questions

Q: What is Customer Energy Choice?
Q: How does customer Energy Choice work?
Q: How do I enroll in Customer Energy Choice?
Q: What are my billing options with Customer Energy Choice?
Q: Who will read my meter?
Q: Can I change suppliers or return to Central Hudson?
Q: What is required from my energy supplier?
Q: What happens if my energy supplier receives a suspension?
Q: What are my rights and responsibilities?
Q: How do I estimate the cost of my electric supplier?
Q: Where can I get additional information on energy choice?

 

What is Customer Energy Choice?

Customer Energy Choice provides electric and natural gas customers the opportunity to purchase their energy supply from independent marketers rather than through their utility.

Previously, your electricity and natural gas had been supplied and delivered by Central Hudson at prices regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission. But in the newly competitive electric and natural gas markets, this has changed. Energy service companies can now supply your electricity and natural gas at market-based prices, and you will be able to choose your energy supplier from among these companies. Central Hudson believes that all customers should have the choice to select a supplier who can best meet their needs. We will also continue to offer you the option to purchase your electricity and natural gas from Central Hudson, as you have in the past.

No matter which supplier you select, Central Hudson will continue to operate and maintain the delivery system of wires and pipes that brings energy to your home or business. We'll still be there to answer your calls and respond when storms and other emergencies interrupt service. And, we'll still be here as a committed corporate citizen doing what we can to help the communities we have served for more than a century.

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How does Customer Energy Choice work?

Although you now have the opportunity to choose your energy supplier, Central Hudson will continue to deliver that energy, and will provide all customer service support functions such as system maintenance and restoration of service following emergencies. Central Hudson's rates for these "delivery" services will continue to be regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission, and you will continue to receive a bill from Central Hudson regardless of which company supplies your energy.

If at any time you are not satisfied with your independent electric or natural gas supplier, you may choose to return as a full-service Central Hudson customer.

Shopping for your electricity and natural gas could save you money. Also, other suppliers may be able to offer you pricing and service options not available from Central Hudson.

But, you are not obligated to choose an alternate supplier. It's up to you, as participation in Customer Energy Choice is completely voluntary. However, you are encouraged to evaluate your options before deciding.

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How do I enroll in Customer Energy Choice?

Central Hudson must receive notification from your selected provider that you have elected to participate in Customer Energy Choice. For electric customers, Central Hudson must be notified at least 5 business days prior to your start date. For gas customers, Central Hudson must be notified 10 calendar days prior to your start. We will send a confirming letter to you the next calendar day of receiving your enrollment. If you do not contact Central Hudson after receiving your confirmation letter, your account will be enrolled in Customer Energy Choice.Customer Enrollment

 

If you did not sign-up for the Customer Energy Choice Plan, you have up to 1 business day prior to your enrollment date to advise Central Hudson of that fact. If you advise us that you disapprove the switch, your account will not be enrolled in Customer Energy Choice, and we will report the unauthorized switch to the New York State Department of Public Service.

If you change your mind and you decide you do not want to participate in Customer Energy Choice, we will reinstate you as a full-service customer upon your direction to do so. However, if this contact to Central Hudson is not prior to 1 business day of your enrollment date, your account will be billed under Customer Choice for one billing period.

Your enrollment in the Customer Energy Choice Plan for electric service will normally become effective with your next scheduled meter reading date. For gas service, enrollment is effective on the first day of the applicable month. For other alternatives, see the "Meter Reading" section, below.

 

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What are my billing options with Customer Energy Choice?
Customer Energy Choice participants have two billing options to choose from. Your energy supplier will notify Central Hudson of your preference.

1. Central Hudson Single Bill
You will receive one bill from Central Hudson, which includes both our charges for delivery service as well as your energy supplier's charges. You make one payment to Central Hudson for all charges.

Summary billing is not available for your marketer's energy supply charges. Therefore, if your delivery service account had been billed as part of a Summary Bill, it will be removed from the Summary Bill effective with this single-bill option.

2. Dual Bill
You will receive two separate bills: Central Hudson will bill you for delivery charges and your energy supplier will bill you for supply service. You are responsible for paying each company separately.

Your energy supplier will notify Central Hudson if you elect the Central Hudson Single Bill option. You should contact Central Hudson directly for billing or service-related questions; and always call Central Hudson to report power outages or natural gas odors. You should contact your energy supplier for questions related to supply pricing.

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Who will read my meter?
Central Hudson representatives will continue to read your meter on your current billing cycle.

If you, or your energy supplier, request Central Hudson to obtain a meter reading for enrollment purposes on a day other than your normally scheduled day, the party requesting the special meter reading will be assessed a fee of $20 per meter.

Energy Choice Meter ReadingCentral Hudson requires at least 10 calendar days' notice for a special meter reading. Your enrollment or switch date will be the sooner of your regular or special meter reading date. The Company will also accept customer meter readings submitted on a prescribed form to commence your participation in the Customer Energy Choice Plan, if you are a bi-monthly billed customer. These forms are available from Central Hudson's Director of Customer Choice. Both the special meter reading and the customer meter reading are subject to the 10-day notice requirement.

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Can I change suppliers or return to Central Hudson?
If you choose to return to Central Hudson for full-service, you or your supplier should provide Central Hudson written or telephone authorization at least 5 business days for electric customers and 10 calendar days for gas customers. Upon receipt of this notice, we will send a confirming notice to you and your existing energy supplier.

Upon receipt of the authorization to change to a different energy supplier, Central Hudson will send a confirming notice to you and your existing and new suppliers.

If you decide to cancel or change either of the above switches (return to Central Hudson for full-service or switch to a new energy supplier), you must do so at least 1 business day prior to your pending switch date. If we are notified less than 1 business days of the pending date, the pending switch will take place for the next billing period. You should contact the new (pending) energy supplier and advise them to drop you as a customer; and you must contact your current marketer (or Central Hudson if you are a full-service customer) to reinstate your account. Reinstatement will not happen automatically.

There is no fee charged by Central Hudson any time you switch your account from our full-service to an alternate supplier, nor is there a fee charged for any voluntary switch back to Central Hudson. However, customers voluntarily returning to Central Hudson or switching to a different energy supplier may be subject to certain contractual restrictions with their current supplier.

For electric customers, any change in energy suppliers or return to Central Hudson for full-service will become effective with your next scheduled Central Hudson meter reading date. For gas customers, enrollment is effective on the first day of the applicable month. For other alternatives, refer to the previous "Meter Reading" section, above.

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What is required from my energy supplier?
An energy supplier must provide you with a statement of their prices, terms, conditions and your rights and responsibilities prior to your making a commitment. This statement must include a notice to you that your billing and usage history with Central Hudson is automatically provided to your supplier, and your payment history will also be provided upon your approval.

As a customer of an energy supplier, you are entitled to the following:
1. A copy of the supplier's disclosure statement prior to your making a commitment;
2. At least 15 business days' notice prior to contract termination by an energy supplier;
3. A smooth transition from one supplier to another;
4. Protection against unauthorized switches in suppliers (known as "slamming");
5. A process for resolving complaints with the supplier that is both affordable and convenient to you; and
6. A statement that you may rescind the agreement within 3 business days.

Your selected energy supplier is also responsible for any scheduling, balancing and settlement discrepancies that may occur, with respect to your supply requirements; and must comply with all NYS Public Service Commission requirements.

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What happens if my energy supplier receives a suspension?
A supplier may be suspended by the Public Service Commission (PSC) for:

1. Failure to meet the policies and procedures included in their disclosure statement;
2. Failure to comply with required consumer protections or PSC reporting requirements;
3. Receiving a high volume of PSC customer complaints; or
4. Failure to meet the supply requirements of Central Hudson, or the Independent
System Operator (ISO).

Central Hudson will notify you by telephone or in writing if your supplier has been suspended, and will offer a listing of other eligible suppliers. Your account will be transferred back to Central Hudson as a full-service customer. There is no charge to you for this involuntary switch. You may elect to again participate in Customer Energy Choice at any time, subject to program requirements, by enrolling with a new energy supplier.

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What are my rights and responsibilities?
Whether you are a Central Hudson delivery service or full-service customer, you have certain rights and responsibilities under New York State Law and the Home Energy Fair Practices Act (HEFPA). Central Hudson distributes a summary of these rights and responsibilities to our customers annually, or you may contact Central Hudson to request a Rights & Responsibilities brochure at any time. At Central Hudson, we welcome the opportunity to serve as a resource when you evaluate proposals from energy marketers in the future. Please be assured that all of your existing consumer protections and our complaint resolution procedures will remain in effect despite changes in our industry. Any electricity or natural gas supplier operating in New York State must be declared eligible by the state’s Public Service Commission, and must also have a signed operating agreement with Central Hudson in order to conduct business within our service area. The New York State Public Service Commission also requires that all energy suppliers operating in New York State offer customer protections, including:

  • a statement disclosing the complaint resolution process;
  • a 15-day notice before discontinuing service;
  • ability to choose from another alternate supplier or the utility when an energy supplier discontinues service;
  • procedures for switching energy suppliers in the future; and
  • clear and convenient complaint handling procedures.

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How do I estimate the cost of my electric supplier?
For customers choosing to obtain electricity from an alternate supplier, the total cost for each kilowatt-hour consumed will be the sum of the alternate supplier’s price of electricity added to Central Hudson's delivery service charges. Remember, your savings, if any, will depend not only on what you pay for electricity itself, but on how much energy you use. The worksheet below is provided to help you develop a reasonable estimate of your potential annual savings, although there are no guaranteed savings. This worksheet is intended solely as a general guide to help you better evaluate offers:

  Example Your Data
Find the cost per kWh on your most recent
Central Hudson bill (see the bottom of the bill) 
$0.059  
Determine the alternate supplier's charge for
electricity per kWh
$0.057  
Subtract Line 2 from Line 1 0.002  
Enter your monthly usage per kWh 500 kWh  
Multiply your savings per kWh (Line 3) by your monthly usage (Line 4) to obtain your approximate monthly savings $1.00  
Multiply Line 5 by 12 (months) to project your
annual savings
$12.00  

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Where can I get additional information on energy choice?
Please call Central Hudson's Customer Energy Choice Information Line toll-free at 1-877-444-CHGE(2443) with any questions you have concerning the Customer Energy Choice Plan. Questions regarding Central Hudson's billing and services should continue to be directed to a Customer Service Representative at our Call Center at 845-452-2700 or toll-free at 1-800-527-2714.

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