RG&E will suspend late payment charges this winter

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — RG&E on Monday announced that it’s suspending its charges on late payments. The goal is to lessen the burden on customers as heating costs rise. We have previously reported on the possible rise of gas prices going into this winter.

More about rising heating costs:

RG&E sent out the following news release:

In response to current market conditions that have raised energy supply prices, NYSEG and RG&E will suspend late payment charges from December 1, 2022 through April 15, 2023 for all customers.

“Our electricity and natural gas delivery rates are expected to remain steady through the winter, but supply prices are expected to climb” said Patricia Nilsen, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “To alleviate the financial hardship this will cause during the winter heating season, we have elected to waive late payment charges on customer bills for this period.”

NYSEG and RG&E do not own generation, but procure energy on the open market, which has experienced rising prices due to increased fuel prices, supply constraints, and global events. The companies don’t realize any financial benefit from supply charges, as supply charges are passthrough costs that represent the actual cost of purchasing the energy to deliver to customers. 

“Suspending charges for late payments is a measure we take to ease financial burdens on our customers during extraordinary circumstances,” said Pedro Azagra, CEO of AVANGRID. “We recognize that New Yorkers depend on the essential utilities we provide, and we want to partner with them to ensure uninterrupted service.”

NYSEG and RG&E make deferred payment agreements available for eligible customers. We can help with payment plans for eligible customers, which are available online or by calling us so we can find a solution together. 

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and Emergency HEAP are federal grant programs that help income eligible households pay for energy bills, repairs, and weatherization. If you receive HEAP benefits, you are automatically enrolled in the utility’s Energy Assistance Program, which provides for monthly credits on your utility bill. As an additional benefit in 2022, if you are enrolled by December 31, 2022, and you have unpaid balances for services through May 1, 2022, you will receive a one-time bill credit as part of the Electric and Gas Bill Relief Program. We encourage customers to apply now.

The Public Service Commission estimates on average a residential electric customer using 600 kWh per month in New York is expected to pay about $75 per month for supply this winter, up 42 percent from the same period a year ago. Residential Gas customers using 732 therms of natural gas can expect to pay an estimated $240 per month during the winter heating season. This is an increase of about 30 percent over the same period last year. But note the actual amount will vary widely by region due to the weather. A colder-than-normal winter will cause usage and bills to increase.

Customers have options for their electricity and/or natural gas supply. Information on choosing an electricity or natural gas supplier is available at nyseg.com/choice and rge.com/choice. We encourage customers to consult with their supplier for information on winter supply prices.