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Utility Wrongdoing Complaint Process

Utility Wrongdoing Complaint Process


Before Filing Your Complaint with the Office of Investigations & Enforcement, Department of Public Service:
Please note that this portal is not for consumer complaints regarding utility bills, rates, or service-related issues.

The below complaint form is to report allegations of fraud, corruption, mismanagement, waste, or other violation of the NYS Public Service Law to the Office of Investigations & Enforcement, Department of Public Service.

utility wrongdoing Complaint Form

You may also file a complaint by sending an email to [email protected], or by mailing your complaint to:

New York State Department of Public Service
Office of Investigations & Enforcement
3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223

Consumer Complaints regarding utility bills, rates, or service-related issues may be filed using the consumer complaint form.


Whistleblower Complaints

As part of its statutory mandate to set rates that are just and reasonable and sufficient to ensure safe and adequate service, the Public Service Commission – through the Department of Public Service staff– conducts investigations of utility practices and procedures. Utility wrongdoing – based on the utility’s acts or omissions– could, if not disclosed and corrected, pose a threat to the health or safety of utility employees, customers, and the public. Individuals reporting alleged wrongdoing, especially those employed by utilities, are sometimes referred to as “whistleblowers.”

Before completing and submitting a complaint, a reporting individual who is a utility employee needs to be aware that a whistleblower may be protected from retaliation by the utility in certain circumstances, as provided for in Labor Law §740.

Investigation Process

Allegations of utility wrongdoing typically come to the Department from many sources, including utility employees, the general public, state and local agencies, and/or contractors.

Complaints may be filed either anonymously or by name. It is the Department’s position that these records are compiled for law enforcement and investigatory purposes (to determine whether or not utilities are fulfilling their statutory responsibilities including the obligation to provide safe and adequate service at just and reasonable rates); and, because public disclosure of complaints would interfere with law enforcement investigations and could subject a whistleblower to an increased risk of retribution by the subject utility, the complaints filed are exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) (see Public Officer’s Law § 87(2)(e)(i)).

Complaints should be submitted to the Department’s Office of Investigations & Enforcement (OIE) for review. OIE will make a preliminary assessment whether the allegations:

  1. are sufficient to commence an investigation
  2. require additional information before an investigation can proceed
  3. should be investigated in the context of in a pending Commission proceeding
  4. should be handled as a standard complaint regarding consumer service
  5. should be declined because they do not warrant further investigation

The nature of the allegations and whether the whistleblower has requested anonymity may impact whether the utility is informed that an investigation has commenced.

If the complaint allegations or preliminary findings warrant, referrals may also be made to other appropriate agencies for their consideration and appropriate action.