Rochester Gas Electric assistance programs.

Financial assistance is available to Rochester Gas and Electric customers. Most of the aid is focused on those faced with an emergency situation or who are faced with imminent disconnection of their service. Some of what people can apply for includes payment arrangements, government assistance, referrals to non-profit agencies in the greater Rochester and Monroe County area, and much more. Find information and details on utility and energy bills assistance programs from Rochester Gas and Electric.

Assistance offered by Rochester Gas and Electric

Life Support Users who are not able to pay their bills may qualify for aid, if they can prove their need and the hardship. RG&E will request a medical certificate, and the program and communication needs to be ongoing. For example, the customer must notify RG&E every 3 months in order to maintain eligibility for this program.

Payment arrangements can be reviewed and implemented to customers who request financial aid, and who initiate contact. Rochester Gas and Electric will try to work with customers to arrange a payment agreement and some sort of plan with qualified customers. The company will consider each customers individual needs and financial condition before making a decision. There will be a review of information including total household income levels, as they go about this process.

The arrangement will vary, and the overall length of any agreement as well as the amount that is due to be paid from each monthly payment will be decided by RG&E. In some cases a down payment may be needed, but not always. Rochester Gas and Electric wants customers to stay current on their new bills, while providing time to pay off an arrearage on your account.

If after reviewing your account, if you are too far behind or if your financial condition is just in too poor of shape, then referrals may be provide to other non-profits or government programs like LIHEAP.

Seniors and disabled are also provided certain protections and rights under New York State law. Customers that are senior citizens (defined as 62 years of age or older) and who are blind or disabled may receive help. However it is only offered if all other members of your immediate household are disabled, senior citizens, blind, or under 18 years of age, then the state protects you.





Rochester Gas and Electric is required to make a special effort to provide you with financial assistance and payment arrangements. They also need to work with the Social Service department if no agreement can be worked out. Either way your utility or gas service will not be disconnected without adequate notice from RG&E. Read more utility disconnection laws.

The Rochester Gas and Electric Energy Assistance Program can offer arrears forgiveness and credits. The utility bill credits are available to any customer who currently receives a government HEAP grant (see below). The other component, known as arrears forgiveness, will offer a limited small subset of Energy Assistance Program participants the forgiveness program, which can help reduce older, unpaid gas and utility bills. EAP bill credits will continue each year as long as someone continues receiving government aid.

The monthly amount of the bill credits will be listed as a line item on your regular monthly bill. When applying, if your HEAP grant is supplied to another fuel vendor you must provide us with a copy of your award letter.

Arrears Forgiveness will do one or more of the following, and has benefits such as the balance on your account will be placed on hold at the time of enrollment and you will receive a credit (equal to 1/24th of the amount on hold) each time you pay your monthly bill on time. Budget Billing is required to participate in this service.

American Red Cross and Rochester Gas and Electric Heating Fund is a partnership program. It is run by the American Red Cross Greater Rochester Chapter. This program is focused on people who are out of options and who are also not eligible for government assistance programs, such as HEAP.

It is a donation program, and it is paid for and supported by contributions from local businesses, RG&E customers, shareholders and people across the community. The financial assistance program can provide cash grants to eligible applicants. Call the local chapter of the American Red Cross, 585-241-4474 in Rochester to learn more or apply.





At the same time this program is in effect, RG&E also administers a matching incentive payment program in which the energy company will match customers' payments, up to $1,000. This new financial assistance/matching program only goes into effect when the customers gas bills cost more than $600 and also when the individual can contribute some of their own money to help pay off the bill. So this is run in partnership with the customer and the utility company. Call RG&E at 1.877.266.3492 for information on any of the programs listed above.

New York state and federal government assistance programs

The two main programs are Emergency HEAP as well as Home Energy Assistance Program. HEAP is a federal government grant program that helps lower income and working poor Rochester Gas and Electric customers pay for energy costs, weatherization, and repairs. People can only apply once per year. Emergency HEAP is offered when people are faced with a disconnection. You will need to call your local social service office to apply for help, as funding is limited.

Individuals who are 60 years of age or older, and who receive any type of Social Security benefit, should call your local Monroe County Office for the Aging to apply.



By Jon McNamara

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