You or someone you know may need financial help to get through this heating season. New York State’s utilities and energy service companies offer bill payment options to help customers manage their bills. There are also utility-sponsored financial assistance programs and energy efficiency programs to help consumers with their heating costs.
Bill Payment Options
Budget Billing – A balanced, or levelized, billing plan provides equal monthly payments. The plan helps even out bills that are high in one season and low in another so that your charges remain the same throughout the year. The payment plan does not reduce your overall energy bill for the year, but does help you manage your budget.
Deferred Payment Agreement – A deferred payment agreement (or DPA) assists customers who have fallen behind on their bills and cannot pay in full. Your energy provider can work with you to develop a plan to pay outstanding charges over a specific period of time. The length of the agreement and the amount of each monthly payment will be decided between you and your provider based on your ability to pay.
The New York State Public Service Commission has developed a listing of the payment assistance programs available through each of the major natural gas and electric utilities. The chart provides information on the program name, a description of the program and benefits, as well as the eligibility requirements and a contact name and number.
In addition to these assistance programs, and as part of their rate cases with the Commission, each major gas and electric utility has developed programs that promote affordability of essential utility services for low-income customers. Eligible customers receive a discount on their monthly electric and/or gas bills, as well as other benefits, depending on the characteristics of the particular utility’s program. For more information, contact your utility directly.
Central Hudson Gas & Electric
Corning Natural Gas Corporation
National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation
New York State Electric and Gas
National Grid Metro
(formerly KeySpan Energy Delivery)
National Grid Long Island
(formerly KeySpan Energy Delivery)
1-631-755-6200 (for calls outside the territory)
Orange and Rockland
Rochester Gas and Electric
St. Lawrence Gas Company
(Including amount of benefit and/or special services offered)
(What criteria must be met to qualify for benefit)
Contact(Include Phone Numbers)
Neighbor Fund (GNF)
This is a "last resort" benefit; meaning customers must first have exhausted all other sources of energy assistance for which they may be eligible (i.e.HEAP, DSS, etc.). The GNF is administered for Central Hudson by the Salvation Army Corps.
Amount of grant is dependent on type of service on the account (e.g. electric non-heat, gas heat, electric & gas non-heat, etc.) Grant amounts are equal to 1 average monthly bill on the account, with a maximum range from $50 (for gas service, non-heat) to $275 (for electric & gas service with gas heat). Grants are limited to two per customer per lifetime.
|Must be a Central Hudson residential customer in an energy emergency (final termination notice, be locked for nonpayment, or denied service) and have a negative cash flow. Customer can owe no more than $750 on their final termination notice (or amount required to restore/receive service). Customer must complete and sign the GNF application form and provide all required information/ documentation. Customer must enter into a signed deferred payment agreement for the balance owed. The GNF cannot be used for payment of a security deposit. Customers who are "sanctioned" by DSS for not complying with their regulations under Welfare Reform are not eligible for GNF. Applicants receiving support from a State or Local DSS program (i.e. guarantees, restricts, SSI) are not eligible for GNF.||Salvation Army at:
Newburgh - (845) 562-0413
Kingston - (845) 331-1803
Poughkeepsie - (845) 471-1210
Beacon/Fishkill - (845) 831-1253
|Central Hudson||Powerful Opportunity Program (POP)||For each month POP customers pay their budget bill on-time and in-full, Central Hudson will credit their account for 1/24th of their "enrollment arrears" (the amount past-due at the time they enroll in POP), up to a maximum monthly credit amount of $100. After paying all current budget bills on-time and in-full for 24 months, the customer's past-due amount (up to $2400) would be paid off entirely by Central Hudson. POP customers will also receive a discounted monthly budget bill. The discount is based on the customer's usage history, household size and income. Finance charges will be applied on late or partial payments, but not on the past-due amount in suspend; and unpaid charges need to be paid in order to receive the 1/24th credit for future payments and future discounted bills. POP customers will be referred to EmPower NY for energy and weatherization assistance. Important: benefits are only provided if customer remains current on the POP program.||Customers must demonstrate they have the ability to pay a discounted budget bill on a monthly basis; and (1) have electricity or natural gas as their PRIMARY heating source; (2) have a past due amount of at least $100; (3) be eligible for HEAP, and apply for and receive a HEAP benefit annually toward their Central Hudson account; and (4) complete, return and cooperate with NYSERDA's EmPower NY Program.||Central Hudson Call Center at 1-800-527-2714 or 845-452-2700|
|Con Edison||Energy Share||Offers a one-time grant of up to $200 toward outstanding bills.||Must be a Con Edison residential customer with an active termination notice, must have made at least one good-faith payment. Must be eligible for government financial assistance and/or meet federal HEAP income guidelines.||Heartshare Human Services of New York
|Con Edison||Con Edison's Electric Low Income Program||Program services include Electric Customer Service Charge reduction.||Electric Customers -- recipients of Public Assistance, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income, or HEAP. Eligibility is determined by DSS .||Contact your County Department of Social Services|
|Con Edison||Con Edison's Gas Low Income Program||Program services include bill discounts.||Gas Customers -- recipients of Public Assistance, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income, or HEAP.||Contact your County Department of Social Services|
|National Grid - LI||Project Warmth (Long Island & Rockaways)||Community based partnership between National Grid and community agencies. Funded by the KeySpan (National Grid) foundation. Program provides $300 for fuel and $100 for fuel-related electricity.||Heating customers who have financial hardship - regardless of the type of fuel used.||United Way Agencies
|National Grid - Metro||Neighborhood Heating
Fund (Brooklyn, Queens,
|Funded by the KeySpan (National Grid) foundation; administered by HeartShare Human Services of NY. Program provides up to $200 for fuel.||Heating customers who have financial hardship. Must be a National Grid customer.||HeartShare Human Services of NY
|National Grid - LI||OnTrack||Program services include basic budget & energy efficiency education kit, individualized customer service, affordable payment plan, social service case management, and arrears forgiveness up to $400 per customer over 18 month program.||Recipients must not be currently receiving Public Assistance and must have a household income at or below 250 % of federal poverty levels.||National Grid-LI
|National Grid - Metro||OnTrack||Program services include basic budget & energy efficiency education kit, individualized customer service, affordable payment plan, social service case management, and arrears forgiveness up to $400 per customer over 18 month program.||Recipients must not be currently receiving Public Assistance and must have a household income at or below 250 % of federal poverty levels.||National Grid - Metro
|National Grid - Metro||Residential Reduced Rate (RRR)||Program offers a discount off the "Minimum Charge" section of the bill||
To be eligible, an applicant must be a National Grid customer and receive one or more of the following benefits:
|National Grid - Metro
|National Fuel||Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund||The Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund helps qualified households meet basic and emergency energy needs. A grant of up to $400 is available.||To be eligible for this fund an applicant must be 60 or older, disabled or have a medical emergency. Open to all residents within National Fuel's service territory. One grant per program year. In addition if requesting grant for National Fuel bill, customer is required to have made 6 payments in the past 12 months||This program is administered by the Salvation Army with Catholic Charities also providing intake assistance. Contact local Salvation Army or Catholic Charities office.
(See Energy Assistance Guide)
|National Fuel||Low Income Customer Affordability Assistance Program (LICAAP)||Eligible customers receive matching debt forgiveness for timely bill payments up to 24 months. They also receive discounts up to 70% off the regular residential rate determined by household income and size. In addition, customers receive education calls when accepted and payment reminder calls until three consecutive months of on-time and in full payments are made.||The customer account must meet HEAP income guidelines. The account must be a heating account. There is no minimum annual gas consumption. However, they must have a $100 minimum balanced owed and have had a completed, defaulted or cancelled arrangement. The customer must be enrolled in the Budget Plan when accepted into the program. Enrollment is currently open - but may be suspended due to budget limitations.||Referrals are made to the LICAAP Department for enrollment processing. Call toll-free 1-800-365-3234 or 1-716-857-6863.|
|National Fuel||Low Income Usage Reduction Program||LIURP is a weatherization program for low-income customers. Participants receive a heating system check, an energy audit, installation of weatherization, infiltration reduction, natural gas usage reduction measures and consumer education. The program design is consistent with and is being administered as part of NYSERDA's Empower New York ("Empower") program, and contractors will follow procedures and guidelines developed for that program.||The customers income must be less than or equal to 60% of the New York State median income (therefore be HEAP eligible). Usage must be a minimum of 132 MCF per year. The customer's account must be active and they must have had residency in the premise for at least one year prior to weatherization. The dwelling must be a single family home or a two-unit dwelling with each unit having its own metered service.||Preferred status is given to participants enrolled in the Low Income Customer Affordability Assistance Program (LICAAP) followed by current HEAP customers with the highest usage. Customers may qualify through Empower referrals - telephone 1-800-263-0960.|
|National Fuel||Conservation Incentive Program||The National Fuel Conservation Incentive Program now offers residential and small non-residential customers in National Fuel's western New York service area a number of money saving rebates when you buy an Energy Star rated programmable thermostat or when you replace specified appliances with new, energy-efficient models.||Receive rebates on qualifying equipment purchased and installed on or after Novermber 1, 2007 only.||Inquiries or questions regarding the CIP contact 1-800-365-3234. For a rebate application or questions pertaining to a rebate application, call (toll free) 1-877-285-7824.|
|National Fuel||Elderly, Blind & Disabled Payment Troubled Residential Assistance Program (EBD PTRA)||Eligible customers receive debt forgiveness for timely bill payments up to 12 months. They will also receive an approximate 15% reduction off the regular residential rate. In addition, eligible customers may receive emergency heating and repair/ replacement and/or weatherization measures in their home.||The customer account must be coded EXCEPTION (Elderly, Blind, Disabled or Life Support). Must meet HEAP income guidelines. The account must be a heating account. There is no minimum annual gas consumption. However, they must have a $100 minimum balanced owed. The customer must be enrolled in the Budget Plan. Note: There is currently a waiting list for this program.||Referrals are made to the LIRA Department for enrollment processing. Call toll-free 1-800-365-3234 or 1-716-857-6863|
|New York State Electric & Gas||Project SHARE||Project SHARE is an energy assistance program established by NYSEG and the American Red Cross providing eligible NYSEG customers grants up to $250 covering bills for heating fuels and repairs or replacement of energy-related equipment. Project Share is the assistance program of last resort. What Project SHARE covers: Grants up to $250, Bills for heating fuels including electricity, natural gas, propane, oil and wood. They can also be used for repairs or replacement of energy-related equipment such as furnaces or water heaters. Recipients are eligible for a grant once every 18 months||Must be 60 years of age or older, have a longtime chronic disability or have an extraordinary medical situation, regardless of age. Must have exhausted all other forms of aid such as HEAP, food stamps, Medicaid and local or county emergency aid; and have exhausted all NYSEG assistance programs, such as payment agreements and Power Partner.||Local chapter of the American Red Cross|
|New York State Electric & Gas||Power Partner||Program services include bill discounts, suspension of collections, and arrears payment matching up to $100 per year. Customers may be referred to the NYSERDA EmPower NY program for services such as budget counseling, energy audits, energy efficiency/ weatherization, energy management education. Customer is required to pay monthly charges in full, on time and NYSEG as well as $60/year toward arrears for matching program.||For electric customers -- HEAP eligible or income up to 200% of federal poverty guidelines.||NYSEG Low Income Program 1-800-284-7988|
|New York State Electric & Gas||Power Partner Basic||Customers who receive a HEAP grant are automatically eligible to be enrolled in the Power Partner Basic program if there is space available. Participants receive the same reduced basic service charge on their electric meter that customers in the full Power Partner program receive. Basic customers are also eligible for the Gas Affordable program if there is space available. Basic customers remain in the normal credit and collection stream. They may still receive a shutoff notice and can still apply for EMERGENCY HEAP without leaving the program. Basic customers may also have installment plans and are not required to be on budget billing. Customers are required to pay their monthly bill in full and on time to remain in the program.||For electric customers -- HEAP eligible.||NYSEG Low Income Program 1-800-284-7988|
|National Grid - Upstate||Care & Share Energy Fund||Provides financial assistance for households facing energy-related emergencies, including: termination notice on their utility bill & limited supply of heating fuel (LP Gas, fuel oil, coal, etc.) If approved, the grant will be $200. Care & Share is a program of "last resort"; therefore, customers must apply for all available HEAP assistance before being considered for Care and Share (they do not have to be HEAP eligible to receive Care and Share). Care and Share grants are paid directly to energy suppliers or contractors performing work.||Customers must have received a final termination notice on their utility bill or have a limited supply of heating fuel and be 60 years or older, or be disabled and receiving disability benefits, or have a medical emergency and live within the National Grid service territory.||Local Chapter of the American Red Cross|
|National Grid - Upstate||Affordability Low Income Payment Agreement Program||This is a coordinated effort with the EmPowerNY program run by NYSERDA. Customers are enrolled in a National Grid Affordability Payment Agreement and are then referred to NYSERDA's energy services program. With the National Grid program the customer receives an initial bill deferral that is either 5% for electricity only or 7.5% for gas and electric customers. The deferral is increased after NYSERDA services received ...up to 35%. Collection activity is suspended on the account. After making 12 payments on the Affordability Plan, customers receive arrears forgiveness credits of 50% of arrears up to $250 a year. In addition, all customers are reviewed by NYSERDA for energy services, of which approximately 60% of customers referred to NYSERDA qualify for such services. Affordability Payment agreement amounts are then further reduced based on energy services received (appliance replacements and/or weatherization). Enroll 3,780 customers annually.||This is a coordinated effort with the EmPowerNY program run by NYSERDA. Customers are enrolled in a National Grid Affordability Payment Agreement and are then referred to NYSERDA's energy services program. With the National Grid program the customer receives and initial bill deferral that is either 5% for electric only or 7.5% for gas and electric customers. The deferral is increased after NYSERDA services received ...up to 35%. Collection activity is suspended on the account. After making 12 payments on the AffordAbility Plan, customers receive arrears forgiveness credits of 50% of arrears up to $250 a year. In addition, all customers are reviewed by NYSERDA for energy services, of which approximately 60% of customers referred to NYSERDA qualify for such services. Affordability Payment agreement amounts are then further reduced based on energy services received (appliance replacements and/or weatherization). Enroll 3,780 customers annually.||Participants are screened and recruited by National Grid for enrollment by phone. There is no direct referral process for the program.|
|National Grid - Upstate||Income Eligibility Basic Service Charge Discount||Customer will receive a monthly discount of $5 on their electric basic service charge.||All customers who have received HEAP in the previous 14 months.||Customers are automatically enrolled when they receive a HEAP grant on their account. Questions may be directed to National Grid Customer Service at 800.642.4272.|
|Orange & Rockland||People to People (Rockland County)||Private Donations. Takes referrals from local churches, DSS, Food Pantry. Limited funding.||Needs a service termination notice. Grant Amt: Depends on amt needed-can't assist with very large amounts. Must have exhausted all governmental assistance.||Contact your county Department of Social Services or Dianne Serratore at (845) 623-4900
|Orange & Rockland||Neighbor Fund||Payments are awarded for energy costs no matter what fuel is used. Grants based on need - up to $500 on dual service account.||Recipient must be an O&R customer, have exhausted all government assistance and provide documentation of emergency or crisis circumstances.||Contact your Salvation Army
|Orange & Rockland||Rockland County - Catholic Community Services of Rockland Orange County - Catholic Charities Community Services||Will assist with bill payment if the customer can pay future bills.||Based on need, which is determined through intake. Review client's entire situation/ food stamps, health insurance, Medicaid/ Medicare. No income requirements. Must have exhausted all government assistance.||Rockland County (845) 942-5791
Orange County (845) 344-4242
|Orange & Rockland||HEAP/ Emergency HEAP||
Aggregation program with monthly bill credits.
Gas Customers $7/month x 12 months =$84/year plus Electric credit of $5/month for 12 months= $60/year.
Total for Gas customers = $144/year
Electric Heating Customers receive $10/month X 12 months = $120/year.
|HEAP recipients.||Local HEAP office in Rockland, Orange and Sullivan Counties.|
|Orange & Rockland||People for People Fund (Orange & Sullivan Counties) Times Herald Record readership area.||Will assist with bill payment if the customer can pay future bills.||Based on need, which is determined through application and interview. Must have exhausted all government assistance.||(845) 343-1663|
|Rochester G&E||The Red Cross/ RG&E
|Applications are accepted for one-time emergency grants beginning in January of each year. Grants are available to eligible applicants through May 31 or until the funds are exhausted. Applicants to the Red Cross/ RG&E Heating Fund must not be eligible for any government assistance, such as the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) or Department of Social Services (DSS) aid. Funded by community donations||Applicants must have a heating shutoff notice in order to qualify. The program is designed to provide one-time emergency assistance to families or individuals who are having difficulty paying a heating bill. Applicants do not have to be RG&E customers. Applicants must live in the nine-county RG&E service territory. There must be a heating emergency, such as the lack of fuel oil, wood, or propane, a potential discontinuation of gas or electric service or other hardship (e.g. medical). A shut off or termination of service notice is required.||For more information on eligibility guidelines, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross during the cold weather season. In Rochester, call (585) 241-4474.|
|Rochester G&E||Non Heating Gas Rate||Program provides bill discounts.||HEAP eligible non-heating gas customers.||Rochester G&E 1-800-743-2110|
|Rochester G&E||RECAP||A 2-year program that provides a bill discount of up to $120/year, budget counseling, energy management education, and up to $125/yr arrears forgiveness if the customer pays monthly bills in full. Customers are also referred to NYSERDA for possible energy efficiency upgrades.||Must be an RG&E heating customer and meet HEAP income eligibility requirements. Customers on Guaranteed Payment Program or Direct Voucher not eligible.||Rochester G&E 1-877-266-3492|
|St. Lawrence Gas||Various||Catholic Charities
These programs are current as of August 26, 2008.