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Assemblyman Calls For UCA In NYS

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

As extreme cold rocks upstate New York, one legislator is calling on the state to create an independent consumer advocate to help bring down high-energy costs for residential customers.

111th District Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara is supporting a measure that would establish the New York State Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate, similar to offices that exist in 40 other states in the nation.

"A consumer advocate would give customers a real say,  representing the residential customers, helping them save money on utilities, helping hold providers accountable. Commercial customers and utilities have long had this representation."

Santabarbara says New Yorkers currently pay 50 percent above the national average for electricity, resulting in utility bills that are especially burdensome to struggling families and older New Yorkers living on fixed incomes.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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