Central Hudson representative teaching about ways to save

Assistance Programs

We're here to help should you ever experience financial difficulties or need special assistance. These programs are designed to help reduce undue stress, get you back on track and avoid falling behind on payments:

How RAS Works

RAS opened on 9/22/21. This program provides gas and electric utility arrears assistance to eligible households – both renters and homeowners - who are unable to pay their electric and/or gas utility arrears.

RAS is a one-time benefit based on the actual amount of current utility arrears, up to a maximum of $10,000 per applicant household. Benefits are paid directly to the household’s gas and/or electric utility vendor(s).

This benefit covers ALL arrears, not just arrears starting in March 2020.

Eligibility

  • You heat your home with natural gas or electricity, and/or
  • Your heating costs are included in your rent, but you are responsible for paying for your home’s electricity,

and

  • Your income is at or below the current income guidelines as posted in the table below or you receive Family Assistance, Safety Net Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) or Code A Supplemental Security Income,
  • You received, or meet all of the eligibility criteria to receive, a Regular HEAP benefit in the current program year,
  • You pay a vendor directly for your gas and/or electricity usage, and
  • Your current gas and/or electricity account(s) is/are in active collections, or otherwise facing disconnection or termination due to unpaid arrears.

Where to Apply

Applicants must apply at their local DSS office.

How ERAP Works

OTDA is administering the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) which assists low and moderate-income renters with rent arrears and utility arrears assistance. 

Eligibility

New York residents are eligible for ERAP if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Household gross income is at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). These income limits differ by county and household size.
  • On or after March 13, 2020, a member of the household received unemployment benefits orexperienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The applicant is obligated to pay rent at their primary residence and has rental arrears (rent overdue) at their current residence for rent owed on or after March 13, 2020.
  • The household must be at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which can be demonstrated by having rental arrears owed on or after March 13, 2020.

There are no immigration status requirements to qualify for the program.

Benefits

  • Up to 12 months of rental arrears paymentsfor rents accrued on or after March 13, 2020.
  • Up to 3 months of additional rental assistanceif the household is expected to spend 30 percent or more of their gross monthly income to pay for rent.
  • Up to 12 months of electric or gas utility arrears paymentsfor arrears that have accrued on or after March 13, 2020.

Documents needed to apply

  • Personal identification
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of rental amount
  • Proof of residency and occupancy
  • Proof of income to document income eligibility or documents demonstrating annual income for 2020
  • Copy of gas or electric utility bill

Applicants will be asked to attest that on or after March 13, 2020, a member of the household received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced other financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The applicant will need to sign the application form and associated certifications agreeing that the information provided in the application is accurate.

How to Apply

The application is online at https://NYSrenthelp.otda.ny.gov

How the Bill Discount Program Works

Once a qualifying benefit is received, a monthly credit will be applied to that Central Hudson account for 12 consecutive months, provided the account remains open and active for the entire 12-month period. The amount of the bill discount credit is based on the service type and amount of HEAP benefit. Customers who self-enroll in Central Hudson’s LIBDP are eligible for Tier 1 benefits.

Qualifying Benefits

Regular or Emergency HEAP; Lifeline; SNAP; Medicaid; SSI; Federal Public Housing Assistance; Veteran Pension or Survivors Pension; and certain programs for Native Americans.

Requirements to Self-Enroll

  • The customer or a member of the customer’s household must provide documentation of proof of enrollment in (1) regular or emergency HEAP; (2) Lifeline; (3) SNAP; (4) Medicaid; (5) SSI; (6) Federal Public Housing Assistance; (7) Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension; or (8) certain programs for Native American
  • Documentation must be in the customer’s name or the name of a member of the customer’s household and include the customer’s address. Documentation must include an issue date within the last 12 months or a future expiration date that aligns with the benefit period.  Alternate fuel customers with HEAP can also provide a HEAP approval letter, mybenefits.com page or a statement from a fuel supplier showing a HEAP payment.

How to Apply

Documentation can be emailed to CareUnit@cenhud.com, faxed to 845-486-5676 or mailed to 284 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.

Budget Billing

The account will be automatically enrolled in Budget Billing.  Customers can opt out by speaking with a CSR; sending a request by email to CareUnit@cenhud.com, on the website at “Live My Account Web Chat” or the Contact Email; faxed to 845-486-5676; or mailed to 284 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.

How Budget Billing Works

The Budget Billing Plan makes energy costs more predictable.  To smooth out billing fluctuations, Central Hudson averages the last 12 months of usage to calculate a monthly billing amount which the customer is then billed for the following 11 months.  The 12th month includes an adjustment to reflect actual usage and price for the year. 

How to Apply

An application for Budget Billing is available on CenHub.com or by contacting a customer service representative.  Customers can also enroll on their Account Dashboard page.

How it works: Deferred payment agreements help customers catch up by paying a past-due account balance in monthly installments while also committing to pay current and future bills in full and on time.

How to apply: Submit the Deferred Payment Agreement request form.

Already have a deferred payment agreement in place? Refer to your payment schedule letter for payment agreement due dates and remember to pay new account charges on time to keep your account in good standing and your deferred payment agreement in effect.

We are continuing with the suspension of service disconnections until Dec. 21, 2021, to lessen any hardship the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused.

If you’re a residential customer OR small business customer with 25 or fewer employees and have experienced a change in your financial circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may also be eligible for special protections to avoid terminations.

Under the law, if you contact us now through Dec. 21, 2021, to affirm that you experienced a change in financial circumstances as a result of COVID-19: 

  • We will not disconnect your service for non-payment.
  • You will be eligible for a deferred payment agreement or can request a new agreement. 

Residential customers must attest as follows: “I attest that due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, which began on March 7, 2020, I have experienced a change in financial circumstances.”

Small business customers must attest as follows: “I attest that due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, which began on March 7, 2020, the business that I own or am an officer of has experienced a change in financial circumstances.”  Small business customers must also certify and provide appropriate documentation that:

  • The business currently has 25 or fewer employees.
  • The business is not a publicly held company, or a subsidiary thereof.
  • The business is not a seasonal, short-term or temporary customer of Central Hudson.

Don’t wait - contact us today to get the financial assistance you need. You must contact us by Dec. 21, 2021. Call 845-452-2700 to speak with a customer service representative.

Help lower the cost of your home’s energy bill

What is EmPower New York?

EmPower New York provides no-cost energy efficiency solutions to income-eligible Central Hudson customers. Whether you own your home or rent, you may choose a participating provider or one will be assigned to you to provide tips on saving energy and to assess  whether  your home may benefit from free energy upgrades such as:

  • Home energy assessment to identify areas of possible energy improvements.
  • Installation of high-efficiency lighting
  • Installation of attic and wall insulation
  • Replacement of old, inefficient refrigerators and freezers
  • Installation of water-saving showerheads

Customers who sign up for EmPower New York also qualify for a monthly electric bill credit of between $5-$15 from community solar.

What to expect?

Find information on what to expect here

Who is eligible?

Central Hudson customers who live in a home with 4 units or less, and who have a household income below 60% of state median (i.e.  HEAP eligible) may be eligible for the program.

Find out if you are income-eligible here.

Who does the work at your home?

The contractor providing your energy assessment and making the upgrades is accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), a national organization that sets the technical standards for contractors in energy efficient building performance.

Find the participating certified contractor list here

How can you apply?

Need help?

Call 877-697-6278; or email: info.residential@nyserda.ny.gov.

How it works: The Extra Security Plan offers an extended billing due-date for customers on a fixed income and customers who receive Social Security income, disability benefits or survivor benefits as their only source of household income. The billing due date for Extra Security Plan customers is extended to the 6th of the month following the normal bill due date.

Who it's for: Customers on a fixed income and customers who receive Social Security income, disability benefits or survivor benefits as their only source of household income.

Requirements: To participate in this program you must:

  • Be on a fixed income such as SSI, SSD, survivor benefits or a pension (proof of benefit required) as your only source of household income.
  • Be current with your Central Hudson account OR have an active Deferred Payment Agreement for any outstanding past-due balance.
  • The address listed on the application must be your primary residence.

How to apply: Submit the ESP Enrollment Application

How it works: You may purchase a gift certificate in any dollar amount for any Central Hudson customer. When you make the purchase, you may choose to remain anonymous, or we will prepare an announcement card, which will be mailed to the recipient of your gift. 

Who it's for: Gift certificates are not just for the holidays but are the perfect, practical gift for any friend, relative or loved one on any occasion.

How to purchase a gift certificate: Contact us or complete this form and send with a check or money order payable to Central Hudson to:

Central Hudson Gas & Electric
Attn: Consumer Outreach Dept.
284 South Ave.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

How the Good Neighbor Fund Works

Since 1986, the Good Neighbor Fund has helped customers experiencing financial hardship and an energy emergency who have exhausted all other forms of payment assistance.  Eligible customers may receive a grant up to twice their monthly bill and not to exceed $325 based on energy service type and average monthly bill; and a new deferred payment agreement for the remaining balance.  This program is administered by the Salvation Army and funded by Central Hudson’s customers, employees and shareholders. 

Eligibility

  • Customer must have a hardship, such as having received a Final Termination Notice, had services terminated for non-payment or denied new service due to a past due balance.
  • Customer must apply for all forms of available assistance from the Department of Social Services, including HEAP.
  • Customer must not have received three Good Neighbor Fund grants within the past five years. 

Special grant for Veterans and military families

Central Hudson has made a special $200 grant available to eligible Veterans and military families experiencing a financial hardship.  This grant is in addition to the Good Neighbor Fund.  For as long as funding remains available, eligible Veterans and military families may receive the Veteran grant two times per year. 

Eligibility for the Veteran and military family grant

  • Active military personnel and honorably discharged Veterans with a hardship are eligible for this special grant. A hardship includes having received a Final Termination Notice, had services terminated for non-payment or been denied new service due to a past due balance.
  • A spouse or partner may apply for the grant to be applied to the account of a Veteran or active military person.
  • If the active military person or Veteran does not have an account with Central Hudson, but resides at a location served by Central Hudson and is considered part of that household, the account-holder may apply with proof of residency. 
  • Grant recipients will be eligible for three regular Good Neighbor Fund grants within a five-year period, in addition to the special military family grant.

Grant recipients will receive a new deferred payment agreement, if needed, for the remaining account balance. 

How to apply

Contact a Central Hudson customer service representative to apply at (845) 452-2700 or, for calls from outside the 845-area code only, 1-800-527-2714.

How can I help my neighbors in need?

You can make a tax-deductible contribution by:

Adding a whole-dollar amount from $1 to $10 to the payment amount of your utility bill (see the pay stub section of your utility bill for further information), or, if paying online, follow the simple instructions on the screen.

Sending a check payable to "The Good Neighbor Fund" to:
Central Hudson
Consumer Outreach Department
284 South Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

How HEAP Works

HEAP is a federally funded program that helps customers with low-income pay heating and cooling costs for electricity, gas and other heating fuels.  HEAP also offers Emergency benefits, Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement benefits and Clean and Tune benefits. Customers who are eligible for HEAP and other qualifying programs are also eligible for Central Hudson’s Low Income Bill Discount Program.

2021/2022 Program Details

PROGRAM COMPONENT DATES

  • The Regular Benefit component opens October 01, 2021 and is scheduled to operate through March 15, 2022.
  • The Emergency component opens January 3, 2022 and will operate through March 15, 2022.
  • The Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement component opens October 1, 2021 and is scheduled to operate through September 30, 2022.
  • The Clean and Tune benefit opens October 1, 2021 and will operate through September 30, 2022.
  • The Cooling Assistance component opens May 2, 2022 and is scheduled to operate through August 31, 2022.

All benefit component dates may be shortened or extended depending on demand and available funding.

BENEFIT AMOUNTS

2021-2022 HEAP Direct Heating Regular Benefit Amounts

Energy Source

Base 
Benefit

Vulnerable Household Member 
$35 add-on

Tier I Household 
$41 add-on

Direct Heating Base with both add-ons (maximum)

Utility (Natural Gas or Electric heat)

$350

$385

$391

$426

Oil, Kerosene, and Propane

$675

$710

$716

$751

Wood, Pellets, Coal, other fuels

$525

$560

$566

$601

  • A vulnerable household member is an individual under age 6, age 60 or older, or permanently disabled.
  • Tier I households have income at or below 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL).

 

2021-2022 HEAP Heat Included Regular Benefit Amounts

Heat and Eat Benefit

$21

Tier II Benefit

$45

Tier I Benefit

$50

 

2021-2022 HEAP Emergency Assistance Benefit Amounts

Electric Heat

$490

Natural Gas and Domestic Utility

$490

Natural Gas Heat

$350

Domestic Utility

$140

Oil, Kerosene, and Propane

$675

Wood, Pellets, Coal, other fuels

$525

Propane Tank Installation and Deposit

up to $500

Temporary Relocation

up to $500

 

How to Apply

Customers can learn more about these benefits and apply for HEAP at MyBenefits.ny.gov or (800) 342-3009. 

 

How This Program Works

 Customers and household members who will be hospitalized for at least three days may request an extension on the due date of their utility bill of up to 30 days from the date of admission to the hospital. 

How to Apply

An application for the Help During Hospitalization Program is available at CenHud.com or by contacting a customer service representative.  The completed application, which requires a doctor’s signature, should be emailed to CareUnit@cenhud.com, faxed to 845-486-5676, or mailed to 284 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, Attention Customer Outreach.

How the Life Support Equipment Program Works

The Life Support Equipment (LSE) Program provides customers or household members who require electricity to operate life-sustaining equipment and who obtain yearly certification from a doctor or local board of health the following benefits: a courtesy phone call when bad weather is expected that may cause power outages; daily monitoring throughout large storms when power is affected; and appropriate identification on the meter to ensure that utility services to customers who are unable to pay is not suspended or disconnected as long as the need for LSE continues. Central Hudson’s Powering Connections newsletter is sent twice annually. Also, at least twice a year an attempt is made to verify that the phone number on all LSE customer accounts is valid.  LSE customers are provided with a dedicated priority hotline number to contact the Company at any time: 800-655-9356.

Eligibility

This program is available to customers with a household member who requires electricity to operate life-sustaining equipment. Participation requires annual certification by a physician.

How to Apply

Complete this application form including physician's certification.  The completed application should be emailed to CareUnit@cenhud.com, faxed to 845-486-5676, or mailed to 284 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, Attention Customer Outreach.

How the Medical Emergency Program Works

Central Hudson will not disconnect service and will restore service for 30 days when a medical emergency, as certified by a medical doctor or local board of health, exists.  The Medical Emergency Certification can be renewed if the customer’s inability to pay for utility services is demonstrated.  Contact a customer service representative for additional details.

How to Apply

To apply contact us during normal business hours: Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If a member of your household is blind, disabled or age 62 years or older, please notify Central Hudson so that we may add a note to your account. This note will ensure you receive contact by phone or in person at least three days before service is turned off for nonpayment, in order to discuss a payment agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, we will notify the Department of Social Services and will continue your service for another 15 days. If service is turned off, we will attempt to contact you again in 10 days to offer you a payment plan to restore service.

If you are 62 years or older, and applying for a new service, Central Hudson will not ask for a deposit unless your service was turned off for non-payment within the last six months. Central Hudson offers billing and payment assistance that can help reduce the impact of higher costs associated with your energy bills. To learn more about these services, call  (845) 452-2700, or 800-527-2714, and press "0" (zero) to speak with a customer service representative.

Powering Connections (formerly The Senior Times)

Customers who are blind, disabled or age 62 or older receive the free four-color easy-to-read newsletter, Powering Connections, which provides information on senior services, assistance programs, community resources, recipes and more. 

Budget Billing

Budget Billing spreads your electric and natural gas bills evenly over 11 months. This avoids fluctuations in bill amounts, as payments will be uniform over 11 months based on your actual usage history. The bill for the 12th month will include an annual plus-or-minus adjustment to reflect the actual usage and price for the year.

Quarterly Billing

A quarterly payment plan is available if you are age 62 or older and your annual bill does not exceed $150.

More Assistance Programs

Find additional programs designed to help customers facing financial difficulties or hospital stays on the Assistance Programs page.

How it works: An occasion may arise when a customer is unable to respond to an important notice from Central Hudson about the status of their service or account. For such instances, we offer a voluntary program to ensure someone else – a willing "third party" – is informed of the situation. 

A customer may choose a relative, friend, clergy person, community or social service agency to receive Third Party Notifications, who will then help ensure that the customer is made aware of the situation. The Third Party is in no way responsible for paying the bill or any part of it.

Who it's for: Any customer who would benefit from having a third party receive important notifications about their Central Hudson account. This program is especially helpful to the ill, the elderly, or someone absent from home, to prevent unnecessary disconnection of services.

How to apply: Submit this application.