New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) today announced their participation in a statewide program to help low income customers facing unprecedented amounts of unpaid balances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Electric and Gas Bill Relief Program was approved earlier today by the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) and has two parts; the first is the distribution of $250 million, included in the New York State 2022-2023 budget, for use statewide to provide bill credits to residential natural gas and electric customers enrolled in the utilities’ low-income bill discount programs, also known as the Energy Assistance Program (EAP), who have past-due bills for service through March 2022. The NYSEG and RG&E share of the $250 million is $5.8 million for NYSEG and $9 million for RG&E low-income customers. In addition to this state budget-funded program, the NYSPSC has approved NYSEG and RG&E to provide additional bill relief credits to income-eligible customers of approximately $16 million at NYSEG and $20 million at RG&E.
“We are committed to the communities we serve throughout New York, and this new program will provide relief to our customers who are in the greatest need,” said Patricia Nilsen, incoming president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “We commend Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature for their support of this program to assist our most vulnerable customers in these unprecedented and challenging times. The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have put a tremendous strain on our neighbors, and we will continue to work with our customers to help them manage their account balances.”
There are approximately 22,000 customers enrolled in the NYSEG EAP with unpaid balances, and 17,000 customers in the RG&E EAP with unpaid balances.
Customers who are pre-qualified do not need to take any action or apply as bill credits will be automatically processed. Those eligible customers include:
- Residential customers enrolled in the EAP as of July 1, 2022
- Residential customers newly enrolled for the rest of 2022
- Residential customers who have received benefits under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) or Regular Arrears Supplement (RAS) public assistance programs in the 2021-2022 heating season
New York State customers are enrolled in their utility providers’ EAP automatically through the sharing of data with the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). Additionally, customers can apply for the EAP program by providing documentation of participation in a qualifying governmental assistance program. To verify enrollment in the Energy Assistance Program, NYSEG customers can log in to their account and RG&E customers can log on here to confirm enrollment on their bill.
NYSEG and RG&E customers can also visit here or here to apply and for more information on other assistance programs, Budget Billing and payment plans.
NYSEG and RG&E are subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc.