Qualified households may now apply for Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) grants, a federally funded program that provides both regular and emergency financial assistance to help pay heating and utility bills. The grants are available through local Department of Social Services (DSS) offices and Offices for the Aging. Customers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. who receive a HEAP benefit toward their account will also be issued a monthly credit on their bill for a maximum of 12 months based on service type and amount of HEAP benefit.
"We're pleased to offer additional assistance to families who may be struggling and depend on HEAP benefits, and encourage all eligible households to apply," said Anthony Campagiorni, Vice President of Customer Services and Regulatory Affairs.
Campagiorni explained that qualified families using electricity or natural gas as their primary heating source may receive a regular HEAP benefit $350 or more, depending on family income and size guidelines, applied toward their Central Hudson account.
"In addition to these grants, eligible customers will also receive a credit on their utility bills that provide further assistance in lowering their energy costs," said Campagiorni. The bill credit is based on the type of heating source and income level.
He added that qualified households receiving a HEAP benefit for non-utility heating fuels such as oil, propane, wood/wood pellets, kerosene, coal or corn are also eligible for a monthly credit on their electric or non-heating gas bill. "We're happy to provide bill discounts to customers who heat with these fuels, as well," said Campagiorni. Customers should email their HEAP Notice of Decision Letter to Central Hudson at CareUnit@cenhud.com to be enrolled and receive the bill credit.
Regular HEAP grants for the fall and upcoming winter are available between Nov. 12, 2019, and Mar. 16, 2020, or until funding is exhausted. Emergency HEAP grants will be available between Jan. 2 and Mar. 16, 2020. These benefits are designed to meet an eligible household's immediate energy needs.
An additional benefit, the Heating Equipment Repair or Replacement (HERR) program, is available to assist income qualified homeowners in repairing or replacing their primary heating equipment when the systems are inoperable or unsafe. Applications for HERR are accepted through Sept. 30, 2020, or until the funding is exhausted.
To apply for HEAP and HERR benefits, customers may contact their local DSS office, call (800) 342-3009, or visit www.mybenefits.ny.gov. Individuals who are 60 and older and do not receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits may contact their local Office for the Aging to learn of the eligibility requirements by calling (800) 342-9871 or by visiting www.aging.ny.gov.
In addition to bill discounts for HEAP benefit recipients, Central Hudson offers other customer assistance and payment programs. Deferred Payment Agreements extend past-due amounts over time, when 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.
For more information on HEAP eligibility requirements and benefits, visit www.CentralHudson.com/HEAP or http://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/program.asp; and for more on all of Central Hudson's assistance and billing programs, visit www.CentralHudson.com, and click on "My Account."
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