Collections Process

As of April 2024, Central Hudson has resumed formal collections for residential customers. Formal collections processes for non-residential (i.e., commercial) customers resumed in April 2023. 

CH vehicle and worker


Central Hudson has not applied late payment fees nor terminated residential customers for non-payment since March 2020. Central Hudson has been proactively engaging with customers who have unpaid bills in an effort to get them back on track with their accounts via payment in full or by entering into a payment agreement to avoid formal collections processes. Despite these efforts, approximately one out of every four customers has not paid for service used. When customers who have the ability to pay don't pay, it impacts all customers through increased rates. Non-paying customers may experience other consequences, including:

  • Additional fees and charges associated with an unpaid account sent to a collections agency. 
  • Damage to credit score, which can affect the ability to buy a car/house or get a credit card; a damaged score may take years to repair. 


Commencement of collections activities for non-paying customers

Central Hudson informed the Department of Public Service of its plan to resume normal collections processes for unpaid residential and commercial customers' bills. 

Central Hudson will issue final termination notices to customers who have an unpaid balance for service used greater than two months past due. Customers who have entered into a payment agreement with Central Hudson will not receive a final termination notice. 

Prior to issuing a termination notice, Central Hudson closely reviews the account to ensure accurancy and acts in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. Central Hudson adheres to all Home Energy Fair Practices Act (HEFPA) requirements. 

Customer rights & responsibilities: Customers have access to their rights and responsibilities anytime and may review them here. 


The process

Once a customer recceies a termination notice, which includes the amount due and a date of termination if the balance is not addressed, the customer will have several opportunities to engage with Central Hudson to resolve the matter. 

  • Central Hudson will conduct a proactive call to the termination notice recipent.
  • A Deferred Payment Agreement offer will be mailed to the termination notice recipient. This no-interest payment agreement will help bring the account into good standing. 
  • A dedicated phone number is provided in the termination notice, to ensure the termination notice recipient is able to speak with a representaitve. 

A final termination notice is clearly marked "FINAL TERMINATION NOTICE" in red letters at the top of the notice (see example below) and clearly identifies a date when service will be terminated unless payment is remitted or a payment agreement is signed:

Final Termination Notice example

At this time, late payment fees are not being assessed. 

If you receive a final termination notice, you must take action immediately to avoid loss of service.


Beware of payment scams

Customers should be on guard against payment scams at all times. Customer information is never shared by Central Hudson without permission. Predators often instruct customers to pay using a store-bought debit card or money order. Central Hudson would never ask for unusual payment methods like this. Be very careful to not provide perpetrators with any personal information. If you're uncertain about a phone call, text message, email message or in-person visit:

  1. Request the person to provide identification. 
  2. Contact us to speak with a representative. 
  3. Note the caller ID information, license plate or email address and report the incident to your local police department. 

Our website has more information about payment scams here. 


Electric and Gas Bill Relief Program

Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic caused economic hardship for low-income families and individuals, Central Hudson implemented 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) had any past-due bill balance for service through May 1, 2022, reduced by a bill credit through this program in 2022. 

In January 2023, the New York State Public Service Commission approved additional relief for customers who did not previously receive a bill relief credit. Qualifying residential and small business customers are eligible to have any remaining past-due balance from bills for service through May 1, 2022, reduced through a bill credit up to $2,000.

Central Hudson conducted additional engagement with customers who received these credits to encourage payment of their remaining unpaid balance or enter into a payment agreement. This program is now closed.