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New Electric & Gas Bill Relief Program Approved by State Regulators

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. is implementing the Electric & Gas Bill Relief Program

 

Approved by the New York State Public Service Commission on June 16, to assist low-income families and individuals throughout the state who experienced hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residential utility customers who receive income-qualified government assistance for utility bills and other expenses and have past-due balances for service through May 1, 2022, will have those balances forgiven through a bill credit. Customers who qualify for this program remain responsible for charges incurred after May 1.

To qualify, customers must:

  • Be enrolled in the utility bill discount program or Energy Affordability Program by December 31, 2022.

Or

  • Have received benefits under New York State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) or the Home Energy Assistance Program – Regular Arrears Supplement in the prior heating season.

Customers already enrolled in the bill discount or Energy Affordability program or who have received ERAP or RAS benefits in the prior heating season will receive a bill credit automatically and do not need to take any action. Income-qualified customers not currently enrolled in a bill discount or Energy Affordability program may do so by December 31, 2022 to be eligible for the program.

Qualifying governmental assistance programs include:

  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
  • Lifeline Telephone Service Program (Lifeline)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Veterans Disability or Survivors Pension
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (if living on tribal lands)
  • Head Start (if living on tribal lands)
  • Tribal TANF (if living on tribal lands)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (if living on tribal lands)
  • Utility Guarantee / Direct Vendor programs
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Safety Net Assistance

Funding for the statewide program is provided by $250 million in state assistance, allocated proportionately to each New York utility based on balances due for income qualified residential accounts, and a temporary surcharge on utility bills. For Central Hudson customers, the surcharge is estimated as approximately one-half percent on utility bills for a period of one year, included in Miscellaneous charges (MISC on the Central Hudson Bill) to assist low-income families served by Central Hudson, as approved and ordered by the state.

A partial bill forgiveness program is in development for all other residential and small commercial accounts affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by New York State, utilities and stakeholders. Details will be provided later in the year. For more information, visit https://www.cenhud.com/

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