Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 1.3 million households (or nearly one in five New Yorkers) have fallen behind on their utility bills. And with home heating costs expected to spike even further this winter, it's important to know that there is help available right now if you are low-income and behind on your bills.
Join the Public Utility Law Project & Communities for Local Power for one of our workshops to learn more about your utility’s low-income bill discount program and New York State’s Electric and Gas Debt Relief Program!!
Advocates will help you check your bill to see if you’re enrolled in your electric/natural gas company’s low-income monthly bill discount program. Importantly, receipt of that monthly bill credit also makes you eligible for a state program that will eliminate any utility debt accrued through May 1st, 2022. For the in-person sessions, there will be snacks, free filing assistance, and free postage to send in your application!
The deadline to enroll in the Electric and Gas Debt Relief Program is December 31st, 2022!
What to bring:
What benefit programs qualify you for utility debt relief?
If you receive any of the following assistance from programs below, we can help! If you're not, we can help you see if you qualify.
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP); Lifeline Telephone Service Program (Lifeline); Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Medicaid; Veterans Disability or Survivors Pension; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Federal Public Housing Assistance Eligibility Requirements; Utility Guarantee / Direct Vendor programs; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Safety Net Assistance; Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (if living on tribal lands); Head Start (if living on tribal lands); Tribal TANF (if living on tribal lands); Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (if living on tribal lands)
Please note- if an undocumented household has 1 person in the home that receives social service benefits, the household may be able to enroll. The application allows for someone other than the account holder to be the person receiving the qualifying benefit. The best way to explain this is– if the person's name on the CenHud bill is the mother, but their child or another member of their household receives a public benefit like SNAP, they can enroll using their child's SNAP award letter.
What: Electric/Gas Bill Relief Workshops
Where & When (only 1 workshop is suggested for attendance):
Thursday, December 1st from 6-8pm at Kingston YMCA- 507 Broadway, Kingston, NY
Thursday, December 8th from 5-7pm at the Newburgh Free Library-124 Grand St, Newburgh, NY 12550
Friday, December 9th Online from 12-1pm
How: Register at bit.ly/debt2022rsvp for a reminder or more info
Who: This series of events is brought to you by Communities for Local Power and the Public Utility Law Project.
We need volunteers for these events! Want to help? Have questions?
HOW TO DETERMINE YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR UTILITY BILL RELIEF
Step by Step Instructions
If you are a current recipient of HEAP, SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, or other qualifying benefits, you are eligible for a monthly discount on your Central Hudson (“CH”) bill through the Energy Affordability Program (“EAP”). Additionally, once you are enrolled in EAP, you are eligible for a credit to remove all debt from before May 1, 2022, from your CH account under the COVID Utility Arrears Relief Programif you apply before December 31, 2022. If you are low-income but not currently enrolled in a qualifying benefit program, contact the Department of Social Services as soon as possible to apply for one. Once you receive an award letter from a qualifying benefit, you can enroll in the EAP program.
Step 1: Determine whether you are enrolled in the EAP program.
You can find out by calling CH or looking at page 4 of your billing statement. Under “Payments and
Adjustments” at the bottom left of page 4, you may see a line titled “CH Benefit” if you do, you are
already enrolled in EAP. If you don’t, apply now!
Step 2: Apply for the EAP Program
You can also contact CenHud and ask them to provide you with an application. Complete the application and attach proof of your enrollment in a qualifying benefit. Return the application to Central Hudson as soon as possible. If submitting a hard copy of the application, documentation can be emailed to CareUnit@cenhud.com, faxed to 845-486-5676 or mailed to 284 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
DEADLINE TO APPLY IS DECEMBER 31st!
It is important to apply for the EAP program as soon as possible, as the one-time credit removing all debt from prior to May 1, 2022, has a deadline of December 31, 2022. Any application received after that date will receive a monthly discount but will not be considered for the COVID Utility Arrears Relief Program credit.
The Public Utility Law Project of New York may be able to assist you with the enrollment process. If you need assistance, contact us at our toll-free hotline at 877-669-2572 or email us at
Not a Central Hudson customer? Click here & Scroll down until you find info for your utility!
Communities for Local Power and the Public Utility Law Project
This event is online
Last updated November 22, 2022