A New York state lawmaker is calling for legislative approval before utility rate increases go into effect. 

The measure backed by Democratic state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara comes as energy customers this winter are expected to face sharply rising bills. 

The proposal would block any rate increase approved by regulators at the Public Service Commission from taking effect until the state Legislature signs off. Utilities this year expect a sharp rise in energy costs due to a variety of factors, including global uncertainty amid the war in Ukraine. 

“With winter right around the corner, the ability to heat your home for your family is essential,” said Santabarbara. “We’ve seen the price of almost everything go up this past year," Santabarbara said. "I know I’m not alone in thinking there should be oversight on how much gas and electric companies can charge us. Since the PSC isn’t accountable to consumers, families should have a voice in these decisions through those who serve them.”

The measure would take effect immediately upon approval.