This winter has already brought a 40% surge on National Grid bills for Upstate New Yorkers. This comes after a 30% increase the winter before. The average bill increase in the last year alone is around $50 per month. With winter storms in the forecast and February temperatures ahead, there are still plenty of high New York heating bills to pay.

As utility prices soar across the state, New York rates are going up again. This time it’s not the utility companies making the decision, but state government. A historic bailout is placing a $672 million debt on all NY ratepayers.

National Grid Logo over electric meter
National Grid/Canva

This bailout is great news for hundreds of thousands of households and small businesses that owe back utility bills from during the COVID-19 pandemic. National Grid says 70,000 Upstate customers owe an average of $2,300 from bills before May of 2022. Most of these customers now face the threat of shutoffs during the coldest weeks of the year.

A graph showing the number of New Yorkers behind on utility bills
New York State Comptrollers Office

During their January meeting, New York State’s Public Service Commission voted in favor of relieving all debt of 75% of the 50,000 businesses and 470,000 homeowners. The remaining fourth will have partial debt forgiven, and be put on repayment plans. If you are a ratepayer that qualifies, you will be contacted and have a one-time credit added to your account.

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The $672 million cost of the bailout will now be spread across all New York State utility ratepayers. National Grid estimates New Yorkers' bills should only rise about .5%, an addition of around $1 per month for the next two to four years. Full details about the rate changes have not yet been finalized, and will be released in the coming weeks.

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