Income qualified households may apply for grants towards their utility bills through April 30, 2021 through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), a federally funded program that provides both regular and emergency financial assistance to help pay heating bills. In addition, a second heat and heat-related HEAP Emergency benefit will be available to eligible households who have exhausted all available HEAP benefits. Originally set to expire on March 15, the program has been extended to assist households, renters and families during the economic challenges caused by the pandemic.
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 utility bill for a maximum of 12 months based on service type and amount of HEAP benefit.
"We're pleased this program has once again been extended to offer additional assistance to families who may be struggling, and encourage all eligible households to apply," said Charles A. Freni, President and CEO of Central Hudson.
Freni 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.
Eligible customers will also receive a credit on their Central Hudson bills that provide further assistance in lowering their energy costs, based on the type of heating source and income level. As an example: A Central Hudson customer who qualifies for a Tier 1 HEAP grant and uses natural gas for heating is eligible for bill credits of up to $49 per month; while a Tier 1 customer who has electric heating can receive a credit of up to $22 each month. Customers who qualify for higher tiers could be eligible for larger bill credits.
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. For example, a Tier 1 customer who uses non-utility heating fuels could receive up to $22 per month on their electric bill through these credits. To receive the bill credit, customers should email their HEAP Notice of Decision Letter to Central Hudson at CareUnit@cenhud.com to be enrolled.
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. As the warm weather approaches, income-qualified customers may also be eligible for a Cooling Assistance Benefit for the purchase and installation of an air conditioner or a fan to help the home stay cool during the summer months. Cooling Assistance benefits are available for HEAP eligible households containing at least one individual with a documented medical condition that is exacerbated by extreme heat. Applications for HERR are accepted through Sept. 30, 2021, or until the funding is exhausted.
To apply for HEAP, Cooling, Clean & Tune 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, including Central Hudson’s Good Neighbor Fund that provides "last resort" grants to help pay the energy bills of local residents in need who have exhausted all other forms of public and private utility assistance and Deferred Payment Agreements that extend past due amounts over time while allowing customers to stay current with future bills. 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."
2020-2021 HEAP monthly income limits
Your total household gross monthly income for your household size must be at or below the following guidelines. Questions regarding the HEAP program should be directed to your HEAP Local District Contact or the OTDA Hotline at 1-800-342-3009.
|Household Size||Maximum Monthly Gross Income||Maximum Annual Gross Income|
Each additional household person, add $560