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Help Available for Low- and Moderate-Income New Yorkers to Pay Utility Bills

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AARP NY Urges Qualifying Residents to Apply for Home Energy Assistance Program

ALBANY, N.Y. With many New Yorkers facing significant increases in their monthly utility bills just as the winter heating season kicks in, AARP New York is urging qualifying utility customers to apply for bill-paying help through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

Spikes in gas and electric service costs can leave many households unable to cover their energy expenses during the cold-weather months.

HEAP assists people with low, moderate and fixed incomes to pay their utility bills.

Enrollment for HEAP remains open until March 15, 2024, or when funding is exhausted, whichever occurs first.

“Already this year, we’ve seen double-digit energy delivery rate increases by Con Edison, NYSEG and RG&E,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “Rising utility bills were already causing financial strain for many low- and fixed-income New York State residents even before those drastic increases. People struggling to pay their utility bills do have a way to seek help. That is why AARP is encouraging all eligible New Yorkers to apply for HEAP as soon as possible.”

HEAP can provide over $900 to eligible homeowners and renters depending on income, household size and how they heat their home. To qualify for heating assistance from HEAP, a family of four must have a maximum gross monthly income of $5,838, or an annual gross income of $70,056. Eligibility tables and benefit amounts can be found at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/

Importantly, receipt of HEAP will automatically enroll customers in their utility’s low-income Energy Affordability Program (EAP), which provides customers with a discount on their monthly electric and/or gas utility bills.

Most eligible New Yorkers can sign up through the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/apply/#heap or contact their local Department of Social Services for more information. People can also call the OTDA hotline number at 1-800-342-3009.

Households struggling to afford their energy bills can also speak with their local utility about setting up a levelized payment plan (often referred to as budget billing) and enrolling in energy efficiency and weatherization audit programs (to help you save money by reducing your energy usage).

Contact: Christopher Carola, ccarola@aarp.org

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 About AARP

AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/about-aarp/, www.aarp.org/españo or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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