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Electric and Gas Bill Relief Program

Electric and Gas Bill Relief Program

Help with Past Due Utility Bills

Phase 1 Bill Relief Program 

In June 2022, the Public Service Commission (PSC or Commission) adopted a statewide program to provide utility bill relief for low-income electric and natural gas utility customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (the Phase 1 program). The program provided a credit for residential low-income customers that were enrolled in their utility’s Energy Affordability Program (EAP). The credit was applied to unpaid COVID period balances on customer accounts accrued through May 1, 2022.  The Phase 1 program, which closed on December 31, 2022, provided relief to approximately 311,000 electric and natural gas utility customers, or approximately 778,000 New Yorkers (a utility "customer" is a meter, so each customer is an average of 2.5 New Yorkers).

Phase 2 Bill Relief Program 

The Commission recognized that additional work needed to be done to address the financial need and pandemic related unpaid balances accrued by non-low income (non-EAP) residential customers and small business (non-residential) accounts.  On January 19, 2023, therefore, the PSC adopted a second phase of the bill relief program.  Under the program, a credit will be applied to eligible customer accounts for unpaid COVID-related balances accrued through May 1, 2022. Approximately 478,000 residential customers (i.e., roughly 1.2 million New Yorkers) and 56,000 small businesses in New York State will receive assistance totaling $672 million.

There is no application necessary to receive this credit. The electric and natural gas utilities have already pre-screened customers’ accounts for financial eligibility and needs, and credits will be automatically applied for eligible customers.

Program Eligibility

  • Gas and electric utility customers with unpaid bills for service that are:
    • Residential customers that did not receive a Phase 1 bill credit; or
    • Small commercial customers* 
  • Residential non-EAP customers who were terminated for non-payment in 2022.

    *Small-commercial electric customers are defined as accounts taking service under electric non-residential service classes, that during the previous 12 months had a combined average monthly billed demand of less than 20 kilowatts (kw), or that did not register any single demand in excess of 40 kw. Small-commercial gas customers as those accounts using less than or equal to 750 dekatherms of gas per year.

The eligibility criteria that were used to determine financial need include:

  • Customers that have received multiple disconnect notices that are unresolved
  • Customers that are in an active deferred payment agreement with their utility
  • Customers coded as either blind, elderly or disabled or a life-support equipment (LSE) user
  • Customers that submitted a financial assistance attestation under the COVID-19 moratorium law (self-certification)

Note: EAP customers that received a bill credit under Phase 1 are not eligible for Phase 2. Additionally, municipal utility customers and customers of other utility services (water, cable, telecommunications) are not included in this relief program.

Program Costs and Credit Amounts


The Phase 2 program will provide $672 million in assistance towards customers’ unpaid COVID-related balances. The Commission found that the financial cost to New Yorkers of adopting the bill relief program is less than the estimated $1 billion to $1.3 billion cost of doing nothing and allowing large numbers of service terminations statewide. The bill relief program will prevent the potential service terminations of 478,000 residential and 56,000 small commercial customers. Utility shareholders will contribute $101 million towards the program and the remaining amounts will be paid by all utility ratepayers through a .5% surcharge on utility bills (e.g., 50 cents on a bill of $100). 

Credit Amounts

As noted above, eligible customers will receive a bill credit to address outstanding charges for electric or natural gas service. It is important to note that some customers that receive the Phase 2 bill credit may continue to have some charges on their accounts after the credit is applied.  The purpose of the Phase 2 program is to resolve COVID-period unpaid bills, to better position customers to manage their utility bills going forward, and to allow them to enter into more affordable deferred payment agreements with their utility to avoid termination of service.

In the January 2023 Order, the Commission adopted maximum credit amounts (or caps on the “up to” levels) for each utility as a way to balance the cost of the program paid for by rate payers with providing meaningful and swift support to customers in need of relief.  The “up to” cap credits were calculated to provide fair and equitable relief given the amount of unpaid charges owed per customer is different for each utility. 

Bill Credit Relief Limits per Utility


Residential Non-EAP Arrears Maximum Cap Credit

Small Commercial Arrears Maximum Cap Credit

Central Hudson



Con Edison



KeySpan LI



KeySpan NY



National Fuel Gas



National Grid



NYS Electric & Gas



Orange & Rockland



Rochester Gas Electric




Specifically, the bill credits were determined for each utility by calculating a dollar figure where at least 75 percent of eligible accounts would have their COVID related balances fully resolved after the credit was applied. However, it was determined for Con Edison and KeySpan NY, that using the 75 percent calculation would result in significantly higher remaining customer balances after the credit was applied than the rest of the state’s utility service territories. To ensure equity across all statewide utility customers and regions, the cap for these companies was raised to 89%. Also, it is extremely important to note that the overall bill relief costs are specific to each utility territory, i.e., Con Edison customers pay for Con Edison customers and National Grid customers pay for National Grid customers.

Important Program Dates

  • The Phase 2 Bill Relief program was ordered by the Commission on January 19, 2023 and will be providing credits on eligible customers’ accounts over the 90 days (through April 19, 2023). One exception – residential non-EAP customers who had their service terminated in 2022 for non-payment have until June 30, 2023, to contact the utility to reinstate their account. The bill credits will be applied after the customer contacts their utility to reestablish service, and only after that affirmative contact.
  • All residential service terminations for non-payment will be suspended while bill credits are applied to accounts through March 1, 2023, or 30 days after credits have been applied by the utilities, whichever is later.
  • The bill relief programs instituted by the Commission in Phase 2 will conclude after April 19, 2023, with a small number of customers remaining eligible for the program if they contact their utility before June 30, 2023.

Additional Program Information

  • The bill relief program will be paid for with a 0.5% surcharge on all New York ratepayer utility bills.  For example, the surcharge on a $100.00 bill will be $0.50 (fifty cents). A key goal of the program was to provide meaningful relief, including complete resolution of COVID-related balances for as many customers as practicable, while limiting overall program costs to ratepayers.
  • The surcharge will be applied to customer accounts after application of the bill credits for a utility's service territory.
  • If a consumer does not receive a bill credit and believes they may be eligible, they should contact their utility directly.

For more information, view Case 14-M-0565.

Phase 2 Order