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With service disconnections and late charges resuming, customers urged to contact companies for variety of assistance programs
AVANGRID Inc. Press Release
New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) subsidiaries of AVANGRID Inc., want to help customers find relief for unpaid bills for their electricity and/or gas service.
COVID-19-related and winter season pauses on service disconnections have ended, as has the companies’ late payment charge suspension announced last fall. This means customers with a financial need for help with unpaid bills should act now to keep their service on. Utilities across the state resumed their collections this week, in compliance with New York state law.
“Having unpaid bills is stressful, but financial help is available if people take some very simple steps, starting by contacting us,” said Theresa VanBrooker, vice president of customer service at NYSEG and RG&E. “When past-due bills are taken care of, it benefits all customers, as the burden of unpaid balances is shared by all rate payers. But most importantly, it means people who need help the most are getting it.”
Any residential customers experiencing difficulty paying their utility bill should call customer service to inquire about assistance and options. Only if customers take no action after receiving multiple bills, calls and notices will they face disconnection. These measures are required by the New York State Public Service Commission and are intended to provide customers significant advance warning before any disconnection is performed. While only a small percentage of the companies’ customers statewide have a debt that is more than 60 days past due, the amount of this debt totals more than $180 million across NYSEG and RG&E.
√ NYSEG: Call us at 888.315.1755
√ RG&E: Call us at 877.266.3492
Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic caused financial hardship for residents and businesses, the companies implemented an electric and gas bill relief program in 2022, approved by the New York State Public Service Commission for eligible New Yorkers, which reduced balances for past-due bills for customers through a one-time bill credit. In January 2023, additional relief for customers who did not previously receive a bill relief credit was approved. Qualifying residential and small business customers were eligible to have a past-due balance from bills for service through May 1, 2022, reduced through a one-time bill credit up to $1,250 at NYSEG and $1,500 at RG&E. The companies also ceased disconnections during this time, though customers still may have received disconnection notices to assist them in qualifying for emergency assistance.
Customers in arrears will receive multiple communications from us in advance of a disconnection. These contacts will include a bill, a reminder notice or a phone call, a termination notice with an additional payment period, an additional call, and then an in-person field visit to the residence to collect or shut off service.
NYSEG and RG&E make deferred payment agreements and other assistance available for eligible customers. We can help with payment plans for eligible customers, which are available online or by calling us so we can find a solution together. For more information on bill assistance or other available resources, visit nyseg.com/HelpWithBill or Help With Bill – RGE.