Many NYSEG customers have received a letter informing them of the discontinuation of the Power Partner Program. This program gave discounted energy rates to eligible participants, and also assisted people whose NYSEG bill was in arrears, with a budget plan. This program is now ended, and the new program they have developed is called the "Energy Assistance Program" which is based solely on NYSEG receiving a Home Energy Assistance Program payment on the customer's behalf. Of course, the only people whose HEAP benefit NYSEG would receive would be those who heat with electricity and a few who have natural gas through NYSEG. Most people in the North Country heat with other methods.
In response to numerous calls in protest to being unable to participate in the new Energy Assistance Program, NYSEG has decided to allow any HEAP eligible customer to apply for the new program, regardless of the type of fuel they use. However, only the people whose HEAP benefit goes to NYSEG will be automatically enrolled in the new program. Customers whose main source of heat is fuel oil, propane, wood or kerosene, and whose HEAP benefit goes to these other vendor's, will not be automatically enrolled in the new program. They will have to call NYSEG to enroll, and provide proof of being a HEAP recipient in the form of their HEAP award letter.
The new Energy Assistance Program has two levels of assistance, bill credits and arrears forgiveness. The monthly bill credits will be listed as a line item on your regular NYSEG bill. The bill credit amount will vary depending on the amount of electricity that you use. As a program participant, you may be referred to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for energy saving measures at no cost to you. The arrears forgiveness benefit has limited space, and specific criteria, so call NYSEG for the details.
If you have any questions regarding the new program NYSEG is offering or to enroll, contact NYSEG directly at 1-888-315-1755.
The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620. Information is also periodically provided by the Behavioral Health Services North Caregiver Resource Center. They may be reached at 565-4543 or 565-4625.