Person's hand adjusting digital thermostat

Managing Utility Costs

Overview

Whether you own your own home or rent an apartment, there are steps you can take to control your energy use and manage your energy bills. This page provides information on controlling your energy costs - including simple no-cost or low-cost measures to cut your energy use.

Conserve Energy

Your energy costs are made up of two factors: the cost of the energy product and the amount of the energy you use. No matter where prices go or what the season is like, you can make the most of your energy dollars by taking basic steps to reduce your usage. The less energy you use in your home, the more you will save.

 

Energy Saving Tips

  • Insulate your home
  • Seal air leaks around windows, doors and foundations
  • Adjust your thermostat settings
  • Follow other simple and affordable steps outlined in our Tips for Efficiency checklist.

 

Energy Efficiency Programs

In addition to low-cost or no-cost steps you can do yourself, there are programs available through several government agencies and New York's major energy utilities to make energy efficiency improvements to your home or business. These improvements will help lower your energy use and make energy bills more affordable. There are also programs to help low income customers with energy efficiency solutions. For details about their programs, contact:

 

Home Energy Assessment

One of the things that you can do to control your bill is to find out where you are losing energy and money. You can conduct an energy audit of your home or apartment that will help show where problems exist and how they can be corrected.

  • Professional Assessments: New York State agencies and some utilities offer home energy assessments at little to no cost. A licensed contractor will come to your home and evaluate your lighting, heating, cooling equipment and appliances, and offer energy-saving recommendations. With some programs the contractor will install energy-saving items at no charge, including LED bulbs, smart power strips and more.
  • New York Statewide Programs: Visit NYSERDA's Home Energy Audits web page.
  • Utility Programs: Contact your utility to see if it offers a home energy assessment.
  • NYS Electric and Natural Gas Utilities offer a variety of energy efficiency programs to help their customers reduce their energy use. Contact your utility and ask about its available programs.
  • Do-It-Yourself Assessments: There are many do-it-yourself audits available on-line, such as the US Department of Energy’s on-line Energy-and Cost- Savings Calculators to identify ways to save energy in your home. You can also conduct a do it yourself energy audit.

Bill Payment Assistance Programs

You or someone you know may need financial help with your energy costs. Various bill payment options and financial assistance programs are available.

 

Payment Options

Contact your utility to learn more about their payment assistance programs including:

  • Budget Plans - which provide equal monthly payments.
  • Deferred Payment Agreements - which may be available if you have fallen behind on your bill and cannot pay in full.

 

View the Utility Companies Energy Assistance/ Energy Efficiency Programs Table

 

 

Financial Assistance Programs

Federal and local programs are available to help consumers with their energy costs from the following sources:

Government-Sponsored Programs

Contact your county's Department of Social Services or Office for Aging to learn about assistance programs such as the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), a federally funded program that provides grants to help low-income consumers pay for their energy costs. Additional information regarding the HEAP program and eligibility can be found at the HEAP website or visit myBenefits website to prescreen and apply for programs you may be eligible for.

Important HEAP Dates

  • Regular Benefit component opened November 1, 2022 and is scheduled to operate through March 15, 2023.
  • Emergency component opens January 3, 2023 and will operate through March 15, 2023.
  • Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement component opens October 1, 2021 and is scheduled to operate through September 30, 2022.
  • Clean and Tune benefit opens October 3, 2022 and will operate through September 29, 2023.
  • Cooling Assistance component opens May 1, 2023 and is scheduled to operate through August 31, 2023.

 

All benefit component dates may be shortened or extended depending on demand and available funding.