NY State utilities offer relief to workers hurt by government shutdown

Published on January 23, 2019 by Dave Kovaleski

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New York’s major electric and gas utilities are implementing special collection practices for customers working without pay due to the Federal government shutdown.

National Grid, Consolidated Edison, Central Hudson, Orange and Rockland, New York State Electric and Gas, Rochester Electric and Gas, PSEG Long Island and National Fuel Gas have all committed to assist federal employees who are experiencing a financial hardship that makes it difficult for them to pay their energy bills during the government shutdown.

They have all committed to keeping these provisions in place for the duration of the shutdown.

“The Federal Government shutdown is already taking a serious toll on many government workers and their families,” New York State Public Service Commission Chair John Rhodes said. “I want to thank New York’s utilities for their prompt response and sensitivity to the growing hardships these families are facing. Their actions will help ensure that New York’s Federal Government workers will not have to worry about keeping their homes warm and their lights on.”

The major utilities are making this offer voluntarily. It’s particularly helpful at this time as the Northeast enters into the coldest stretch of the winter season.

While the specific provisions will vary by utility, some of these special practices include suspending or waiving late payment fees; extending or deferring payment due dates; and, crafting deferred payment agreements tailored to each customer’s financial circumstances.