$567 million available to help low-income customers pay off utility bills

[anvplayer video=”5125198″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The largest low-income utility financial assistance program in the history of New York State will be rolled out on Monday, August 1.

Low-income families in New York will see financial help reflected in their August utility bills for gas and electricity from the Financial Assistance Program—$557 million will be available. The program allows customers to pay off past due bills so they can maintain their utility services.

This program will directly benefit more than 327,000 low-income New York households by eliminating unpaid bills that have accumulated through May 1, 2022. The program also authorizes the same relief for any qualifying low-income customer. The program allows the same relief to those that enroll in the program before December 31, 2022.

The number of customers with unpaid utility bills has risen sharply since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

“I am pleased to announce that the largest Low Income Utilities Financial Assistance Program in state history launches on Monday, August 1, marking a major step forward in the state’s ongoing efforts to help New Yorkers to maintain public services,” Governor Hochul said. “No New Yorker should have their lights and air conditioning turned off as a result of the financial problems caused by the pandemic. I applaud the State Legislature for its partnership to allocate $250 million to reduce the burden of utility arrears, which will be critical to helping vulnerable New Yorkers maintain their public services, especially during these hot summer months.”

This one-time low-income utility bill credit, to be applied to affected utility customers’ bills, requires no action on the part of existing low-income customers enrolled in the EAP.