UNIONDALE, N.Y., Oct. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — PSEG Long Island encourages customers struggling with their utility bills to take advantage of a limited-time New York State program that provides eligible households with up to $10,000 to cover outstanding balances.
The program is only available while funding lasts, and customers can get started by calling PSEG Long Island at 1-800-490-0025 to receive more information about this state-run program, attest to any financial hardships caused by the pandemic, and develop individualized payment agreements.
New York State announced the “regular arrears supplement” last month to help low-income households that have fallen behind on their utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic. Secured through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the regular arrears supplement is available to households who are eligible for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and behind on their heating utility bills, but that do not qualify for the utility assistance offered by New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. More information is also available at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/#regular-arrears-supplement-benefit.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have remained committed to assisting customers during these difficult times, and this is a huge opportunity that we want to make sure they know about,” said Rick Walden, vice president of Customer Services, PSEG Long Island. “The unusual circumstances have prompted the state to provide a level of utility relief we have not seen before, and it will only last until the existing funds are allocated.”
Protections available for households that experienced change in financial circumstances
In March 2020, PSEG Long Island suspended all service terminations for non-payment and continued this protection throughout the governor’s COVID-19 State of Emergency, which has now ended. Residential and certain small business customers may be entitled to additional protections if the State of Emergency caused a change in financial circumstances, including non-termination of electric service for non-payment until Dec. 21, 2021, or a deferred payment agreement with no down payment, late fees or penalties.
To receive these protections, customers must call PSEG Long Island at 1-800-490-0025 and affirm a change in financial circumstances because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit https://www.psegliny.com/myaccount/customersupport/financialassistance/covid. Eligible customers need to reach out as soon as possible.
“Our customer service representatives continue to proactively reach out to customers to provide guidance on state and federal assistance programs,” Walden said. “We know how hard it has been to manage household bills when your income has been affected, and we are also ready to set up individualized payment agreements that let customers pay what they can now and not get too far behind.”
Outreach to customers
Beginning Oct. 20, PSEG Long Island field representatives will visit residential customers with past-due account balances to discuss payment methods, accept a payment or work out a payment plan to pay down balances over time. PSEG Long Island representatives will work with customers to find the best solution for the household. Residential customers will not be shut off for non-payment at this time.
PSEG Long Island employees must carry a company ID and present it when requested. If customers have doubts, do not let the person into the house. Call PSEG Long Island at 1-800-490-0025 and a customer service representative will gladly verify if an employee has been dispatched to the location.
PSEG Long Island field representatives have already been visiting business customers in arrears to help them develop payment plans. PSEG Long Island encourages business customers who do not yet have a payment plan to call the PSEG Long Island Business Solutions Center at 1-800-966-4818 to set one up. Shutoffs of commercial customers for nonpayment will begin on Nov. 1. Small businesses with no more than 25 employees, and that meet other eligibility requirements, can remain protected from shutoffs for nonpayment until Dec. 21 by contacting PSEG Long Island and attesting to changes in financial circumstances. For more information, visit https://www.psegliny.com/businessandcontractorservices/covidresponse.
Other state and local assistance available
Customers whose households meet certain income guidelines and other eligibility requirements may be eligible for other financial assistance programs opening in the coming months:
- Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) — October 2021
- United Way of Long Island’s Project Warmth — January 2022
- Emergency HEAP — January 2022
PSEG Long Island also has programs to help customers save money on energy costs:
- Home Energy Analyzer – a do-it-yourself online tool that uses a simulation model to validate how energy is used in the home.
- My Energy Profile – an online suite of easy-to-use tools that can help a customer understand energy usage and how to conserve it. With this tool, customers can track energy efficiency efforts over time and see comparisons to similar homes in the area.
- Energy Efficiency Rebates – PSEG Long Island offers rebates on products including LED light bulbs, advanced power strips and major appliances such as dryers and heat pump water heaters.
For more information on PSEG Long Island financial assistance programs, visit https://www.psegliny.com/myaccount/customersupport/financialassistance.
For more information on HEAP and federal programs, visit https://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/.
For more information on energy and money saving programs and tips, visit https://www.psegliny.com/efficiency.
PSEG Long Island
PSEG Long Island operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a long-term contract. PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company.
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