Local programs offer assistance with heating bills

Home Energy Assistance Program

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) grants for the 2016-2017 winter heating season are available through local Department of Social Services (DSS) offices or Offices for the Aging. Customers experiencing a financial hardship this winter are encouraged to apply. Qualifying families may also be eligible to receive additional benefits through Central Hudson.

Eligible families using electricity or natural gas as their primary heating source may receive a regular HEAP benefit of $350 to $401. Benefits are also available to eligible customers who have heating costs included in their rent. Customers who use electricity or natural gas to heat their residence may also qualify for an additional Emergency HEAP benefit of $350 to $490 beginning Jan. 3, 2017. Benefits and guidelines are determined by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

Central Hudson customers who receive HEAP benefits toward their account during the 2016-2017 HEAP season will also be issued a bill credit of between $5.50 and $23 per month on their Central Hudson bill, depending on the type of service received, for a maximum of 12 months. The discounts are intended to provide additional support to families in need.

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HEAP benefits are funded by the federal government and administered through the New York State Department of Social Services. Eligibility is based on family income and size. A family of four earning up to $4,423 per month (or $53,071 per year) may qualify for a regular HEAP benefit. Additional benefits are available to households according to income levels, household members and to those with vulnerable individuals living in residence. The HEAP program also offers heating equipment repair up to $3,000 or replacement up to $6,500 for eligible families. To learn more about the program, call (845) 334-5436 or visit mybenefits.ny.gov.

 

Central Hudson assistance and payment programs
In addition to bill discounts for HEAP benefit recipients, Central Hudson offers customer assistance and payment programs. Deferred Payment Agreements extend past due amounts over time while staying current with future bills. Budget Billing helps to avoid seasonal swings and allows for more predictable bills by dividing a household’s average annual energy bill into 11 even monthly payments, with the 12th month’s payment adjusted up or down to reflect actual usage and market prices. The Powerful Opportunities Program offers eligible customers receiving HEAP benefits a discounted Budget Billing plan, an arrears forgiveness benefit, an incentive award credit and help in implementing energy efficiency measures to reduce energy costs. More information is available by visiting otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/program.asp or centralhudson.com/heap.

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