Several assistance programs are offered from Central Hudson for qualified low income customers. The company does its best to provide payment plans, information on government assistance, and other resources for paying energy bills.
Payment Extensions can be set up using their website or by calling customer service. Qualified customers may be able to enroll into an extension on their account. This will allow them to pay the outstanding balance on their account in full, or in two equal payments. If you do not make the agreed upon payments then your account could be cut off and/or additional fees may be charged. This is an effective tool at providing customers additional time to get caught up.
Budget/Average billing level sets how much Central Hudson will charge you over the course of a year. So your monthly bill will be constant and will not spike during the winter or summer months. There may be a one time true up or extension that needs to occur on your account as well.
Central Hudson Deferred Payment Agreements is an option for people who are faced with a crisis or extreme financial hardship. The utility company will try to work with customers in order to sign them up into some type of program or deferred payment agreement. While the terms and conditions will vary, they will try to make the plan based on your ability to pay your energy bills. They will try to accommodate your income. Under this option of a deferred payment agreement, your past-due amount will be paid in monthly installments. You will need to keep your current bills and pay them on time. To learn more or apply dial (845) 452-2700.
The Extra Security Plan is a good option for people living on a fixed, scheduled income. This plan provides them with a pre-set billing due-date. So it really benefits senior citizens and people who currently are disabled as they can then time their utility bill to be sent to them for when they receive their income check.
Federal government and the New York Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) can provide the working poor and other very low income Central Hudson families with regular and emergency financial grants. The money can help them pay their utility and heating bills. The Department of Social Services in your county will run the program for the less fortunate. Individuals and families who are 60 or older and who do not receive food stamps may contact their local community action agency, social service office, or the Agency on Aging for eligibility requirements and to apply. If you can enroll a credit will be placed on your account.
The statewide Good Neighbor Fund is a program of last resort across New York. Central Hudson partners with agencies such as the Salvation Army to try to offer this option to qualified customers. It may be able to help pay the energy and heating bills of customers who have exhausted all other forms of public assistance, such as HEAP (above), and who have also used up all private assistance programs. The Salvation Army administers it and it is a donation program, so please contribute if you can.
Another resource is POP, or Powerful Opportunity Program. This is a short term utility bill payment assistance program that can help eligible customers and residents pay off their past due balance on their account. It is good for up to a 24-month period. It will also help people stay current with monthly budget bills. The POP program is run in cooperation with organizations such as EmPower New York. Call 1-800-527-2714 for details.
Assistance is offered for people impacted by a medical condition as well. Whether you are on Life Support Equipment or in the hospital, Central Hudson has programs for you. The life support program will ensure that your account is noted as being critical so that Hudson Central is aware of your status. The other component, assistance during hospitalization, is a special payment program that will in effect extend the due date on your account and provide you with flexibility. If you are hospitalized for a minimum of three days, you could qualify for a payment extension of up to 30 days. This will help ensure you have time to get back on track with your payments.
Central Hudson offers these and maybe other billing and payment assistance programs. Call them at (845) 452-2700 for more information.
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