N.Y. Public Service Law Section 31
Applications for service


Every gas corporation, electric corporation or municipality shall provide residential service upon the oral or written request of an applicant, provided that the commission may require that requests for service be in writing under circumstances as it deems necessary and proper as set forth by regulation, and provided further that the applicant:


makes full payment for residential utility service provided to a prior account in his name; or


agrees to make payments under a deferred payment plan of any amounts due for service to a prior account in his name and makes a down payment based on criteria to be established by the commission. No such down payment shall exceed one-half of any money due from an applicant for residential utility service, or three months average billing, whichever is less; or


is a recipient of public assistance, supplemental security income or additional state payments pursuant to the social services law, or is an applicant for such assistance, income or payments, and the utility corporation or the municipality receives payment from, or is notified of the applicant’s eligibility for utility payments by the social services official of the social services district in which such person resides for amounts due for service to a prior account in the applicant’s name, together with guarantee of future payments to the extent authorized by the social services law.


In the event a utility corporation or municipality denies an applicant’s application for service it shall provide prompt written notice to such applicant of its reasons for denying service, specify what the applicant must do to qualify for service, and advise the applicant of his right to investigation and review of the denial of service by the department if the applicant considers such denial to be without justification. Any such notice denying service shall be sent to an applicant within three business days after either a completed oral or written application for service is received, provided however, the commission may specify a different period for good cause. The commission may also establish such additional notice requirements upon a utility corporation or municipality as it believes necessary to assure reasonable notification and protection for applicants.


Subject to the requirements of subdivisions four and five of this section, whenever a residential customer moves to a new residence within the service territory of the same utility corporation or municipality, he shall be eligible to receive service at the new residence and such service shall be considered a continuation of service in all respects, with any deferred payment agreement honored, and with all rights of such customer and such utility corporation provided by this article unimpaired.


In the case of any application for service to a building which is not supplied with electricity or gas, a utility corporation or municipality shall be obligated to provide service to such a building, provided however, that the commission may require applicants for service to buildings located in excess of one hundred feet from gas or electric transmission lines to pay or agree in writing to pay material and installation costs relating to the applicant’s proportion of the pipe, conduit, duct or wire, or other facilities to be installed.


A utility corporation or municipality shall institute service to any applicant who meets the requirement of subdivision one of this section, within five business days after such applicant applies for service, provided however, such requirement shall not apply where the institution of service within five business days is prevented by adverse weather conditions, serious physical impediments, construction requirements, labor disputes or law. A utility corporation or municipality shall initiate service promptly to applicants, and any such corporation or municipality which fails to provide timely service to an applicant as required by this subdivision without good cause as determined by the commission, shall forfeit and pay to such applicant the sum of twenty-five dollars per day for each day that such service is not supplied. The chairman shall designate such officers and employees as he deems necessary to act on complaints relating to applications for service.


In the event the service sought in applications submitted pursuant to this section is comprised of the provision of gas or electricity commodity only, nothing in this section shall require the provision of such service to any and all such applicants; provided, however, that nothing in this subdivision shall prevent or preclude the commission or a court from ordering the provision of such service to all such applicants if such order is authorized pursuant to or required to implement a provision of law other than this article.

Source: Section 31 — Applications for service, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/PBS/31 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Nov. 25, 2023).

Nov. 25, 2023

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 31’s source at nysenate​.gov

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