National Grid Reminds Qualifying Customers that Bill Payment Assistance is Available as Federally Funded HEAP Programs are Extended Through June 30
SYRACUSE, N.Y., June 17, 2020 /3BL Media/ – National Grid reminds customers that applications are still being accepted for the federally funded Home Energy Assistance Program and the Emergency HEAP program through June 30, 2020, while funds are available. The programs have been extended to assist customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The HEAP programs provide income-eligible families assistance in paying their energy bills and offers relief for households in a heating or heating-related energy emergency. The funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and do not need to be paid back.
The level of funding varies depending on household income, household composition and heating fuel type in relation to income. The income requirement is based on the past four weeks of household income, therefore customers who may not have been eligible in the past are encouraged to apply. Customers who receive HEAP funding will be automatically enrolled in National Grid’s Energy Affordability Program, which provides monthly bill credits.
National Grid has launched an extensive outreach campaign through emails, letters, postcards, radio advertisements, traditional and social media, webinars, and outbound wellness calls to help customers manage their energy bills, take advantage of a variety of payment and billing options, and provide information on financial assistance and energy savings programs.
“We take seriously the health and safety of our customers and helping them through the difficult times associated with this pandemic,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid’s New York vice president. “Now more than ever the financial assistance offered through HEAP is a helpful way to offset energy costs.”
Because HEAP funding is limited, customers who believe they may qualify should contact HEAP immediately:
- In Upstate New York, please visit the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance website at http://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/ to determine how to apply in your area or call your local county Department of Social Services. Applications are accepted by phone or online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov. Customers age 60 and older may also call their county Office for the Aging to learn more.
- In Downstate New York, customers can call 1-212-331-3126 to request a HEAP application by mail (a return envelope is included with an application). Customers can also download and print an application. Completed applications can be returned by mail or at one of the following drop box locations (updated process during COVID-19):
- Clermont Job Center – 495 - 505 Clermont Ave., Brooklyn
- Coney Island Job Center - 3050 West 21th St., Brooklyn
- Queens Job Center - 32-20 Northern Blvd., Queens
- Richmond Job Center - 201 Bay St., Staten Island
- Waverly Job Center - 12 West 14th St., Manhattan
- Crotona Job Center - 1910 Monterey Ave., Bronx
- Rider Job Center - 300 Canal St., Bronx
- Queens Job Center - 3220 Northern Blvd., Queens
- Richmond Job Center - 201 Bay St., Staten Island
- On Long Island and in the Rockaways, please visit the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance website at http://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/ to determine how to apply in your area or call the HEAP information line listed below. Applications are accepted by phone or online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov
- Nassau County: 1-516-565-4327
- Suffolk County: 1-631-853-8825 (main) or 1-631-853-8820 (for SNAP recipients)
- The Rockaways: 1-800-692-0557
- Customers ages 60 and older may also refer to the following resources for support during the HEAP application process:
- Nassau County: 1-516-227-7386 to reach the Nassau County Family and Children Association Office for the Aging
- Suffolk County: 1-631-853-8326 for the Suffolk County Department for the Aging
- The Rockaways: 3-1-1
There are several other programs available to National Grid customers to help manage energy costs:
- Consumer Advocates – National Grid employs Consumer Advocates to assist income-eligible and special needs customers facing financial hardship. Advocates are available to provide early intervention, information on a variety of assistance programs, crisis bill pay management, outreach, and education. Consumer Advocates also offer a variety of services to homebound customers. Presentations to consumer groups and agencies provide energy savings tips, health and safety information, payment options, and preparation for power outages. For more information, customers are encouraged to contact a consumer advocate in your area:
- Billing Options – National Grid offers a Budget Billing Plan to help customers spread payments out more evenly across the year, which are particularly helpful to those on fixed incomes. Visit www.nationalgridus.com for more information on this and other payment programs.
- Ways to Save – Visit National Grid’s website for energy efficiency programs and saving tips, a list of qualified energy services companies, and much more.
- Bill Help – Learn more about bill help options in a video by National Grid employees taken from their homes.
Littlejohn noted that we recognize this is an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation and we want to do our part to look out for our customers and protect the communities where we live and serve. We will continue to closely monitor our customers’ needs and find new ways to assist where we can.
Continuing Customer Commitment
National Grid has committed to a number of actions to lessen any financial hardship the COVID-19 pandemic may have on customers. They include:
Suspending collections-related activities, including service disconnections and late payment charges.
Committing more than $1 million across Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island to help support hunger relief and human services.
Launching a proactive outreach campaign, through emails, letters, outbound calls, traditional and social media, and advertisements to help customers manage their energy bills, take advantage of a variety of payment and billing options, and provide information on financial assistance and energy savings programs. We encourage customers who are struggling to pay their bills to contact us as soon as possible so that we can help.
Offering the expertise of our Consumer Advocates, who provide crisis intervention support for customers in need, working closely with county Social Services and community assistance organizations.
Providing fast-tracked economic development support to New York businesses that are transitioning their existing facilities to produce critical medical equipment and supplies needed to support the COVID-19 response effort.
Additional details on National Grid’s pandemic preparedness, associated actions and a customer Q&A can be found at ngrid.com/covid-19
About National Grid
National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
CONTACT: Virginia Limmiatis – 315-452-7708