Utility Bills Stressing You Out? New Yorkers Who Are Behind Can Get Help
The pandemic not only hit New Yorkers hard with COVID-19, but many continue to struggle to pay their utility bills. One in eight New York households are sixty days overdue on their utility bills and continue to struggle to make payments.
What is New York State Doing to Help?
There will be two hundred fifty million dollars available to give low-income families help to catch up on their utility bills. There will also be an estimated five hundred and fifty-seven million dollars across the state as part of the COVID-19 bill credit program which part will be used in the 2023 Fiscal Year. This is appropriated in the state budget for the one-time utility credit according to the Daily Gazette.
What Programs Are Offered and Who is Eligible?
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) – Eligible homeowners and renters in New York can get assistance. A family of four may have a maximum gross annual income of $62,983. For more information and to apply, click HERE.
Energy Affordability Policy (EAP) – This program has allowed, since September 2021, to bill discounts for utilities to eligible customers.
Bill Payment Options – Residential consumers can inquire with their utility provider about billing options that allow for deferred payments or ‘budget billing’ to even out utility bills that are higher in one season and lower in another. This can help structure payments to make it easier to navigate costs.
The bill credit is available to those already enrolled in the state’s Energy Affordability Program and any low-income customers who enroll by Dec. 31, 2022, according to silive.com
Governor Hochul said,
It’s unacceptable that far too many New Yorkers are at risk of having their lights shut off for failure to pay their utility bills due to financial problems caused by the pandemic. To address this, I partnered with the state legislature to appropriate $250 million toward reducing the burden of utility arrears.