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.
**NEW: You may be able to receive a bill credit
Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic caused economic hardship for low-income families and individuals, Central Hudson is implementing the Electric and Gas Bill Relief Program, approved by the New York State Public Service Commission for income-eligible New Yorkers.
Residential customers who receive benefits from a government assistance program (such as SNAP or HEAP) will have any past-due bill balance for service through May 1, 2022, reduced through a bill credit.
To qualify, you must:
- Be enrolled in Central Hudson’s Bill Discount Program by December 31, 2022; or
- Have received benefits under New York State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) or Regular Arrears Supplement (RAS) in the prior heating season.
Bill Discount Program:
- You may be enrolled automatically if you receive benefits from a government assistance program. See the full list of qualifying programs below. To see if you’re enrolled, you can check your Central Hudson bill.
- If you’re not enrolled but you participate in a government assistance program, review the information on this page on how to enroll for a monthly discount on your utility bill and apply here.
- If you are enrolled in the Bill Discount Program or received ERAP or RAS benefits, your bill credit will be processed automatically and you do not need to take any action. In addition, your service will not be suspended for non-payment while your bill credit or ERAP payment is being processed.
- If your ERAP application is pending with the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, your account will not be credited until you have been found eligible for the program, the application has been fully processed and the funds have been received by Central Hudson.
- All customers are responsible for all charges for service after May 1, 2022.
Qualifying governmental assistance programs:
- Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
- Lifeline Telephone Service Program (Lifeline)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Veterans Disability or Survivors Pension
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing 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)
- Utility Guarantee / Direct Vendor programs
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Safety Net Assistance
Bill Discount Program
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.
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
If submitting a downloaded 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.
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.
What is Budget Billing:
Budget Billing makes your energy bills more predictable. As a Budget Billing customer, you will be billed a fixed amount for 11 months of the year, based on your account history. The 12th bill is adjusted, up or down, to factor in the difference between your payments and your actual costs during the entire year.
Who is it for:
Our Budget Billing option is available to all residential customers.
How to apply:
Visit your Account Dashboard page and click the "Enroll in Budget Billing" block. Your monthly bill amount will be presented and you can choose whether to accept it and complete enrollment.
Deferred Payment Agreement
What is a Deferred Payment Agreement:
Deferred Payment Agreements allow customers to pay off a past-due account balance in monthly installments. Customers must also pay current and future bills in full and on time as part of this program.
How to apply:Create a Payment Agreement Online
If you are unable to log in via the button above and complete the Deferred Payment Agreement self-service process online, you can instead submit a request for a Deferred Payment Agreement on this form. Requests submitted through this form will be reviewed and you will be contacted at a later date.
Already have a Deferred Payment Agreement in place?
If you already have a payment agreement in effect, visit your Deferred Payment Agreement details page or the letter you received for your payment installment schedule and additional details. That page is only available for accounts that already have a Deferred Payment Agreement.
EmPower New York Program
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?
- Create an online application account: Portal Registration [portal.nyserda.ny.gov]
- Print and mail in a paper application, to: EmPower New York, 2 Wall Street, Albany, NY 12205
Call 877-697-6278; or email: email@example.com.
Extra Security Plan
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.
Central Hudson Gas & Electric
Attn: Consumer Outreach Dept.
284 South Ave.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Good Neighbor Fund
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.
- 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:
Consumer Outreach Department
284 South Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
How HEAP Works
HEAP is a federally funded program that helps income-eligible households pay for heating and cooling costs. 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.
Who It's For
HEAP is available to income-eligible residents. Eligibility guidelines and benefit amounts are available on our HEAP program page.
How to Apply
Customers can learn more about these benefits and apply for HEAP at MyBenefits.ny.gov or (800) 342-3009.
Help During Hospitalization
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.
Life Support Equipment Program
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.
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.
Services for Seniors
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 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.
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.
Third Party Notification
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.