New York State law* provides temporary protections for essential utility and municipal services during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you experienced a change of financial circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, utilities and municipalities may not shut off your service for nonpayment, must reconnect your service within 48 hours, and must offer you a deferred payment agreement to help you pay your balance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Residential and Small Business customers.
To be eligible for the moratorium, a small business must: a) have 25 or fewer employees; b) not be a publicly held company; c) not be seasonal or temporary customer; and, d) not be a high energy user.
The small business must certify to its utility that it meets the eligibility requirements. The utility may notify the small business that the utility believes the business has the resources to pay its bill and therefore is not eligible for the moratorium protections. If the business disagrees, it may file a complaint about the utility’s decision with the Department of Public Service (see below).
Electricity, natural gas, steam, landline telephone, water, internet, and cable television.
Private water companies and public (water district, city, town, village, and public authority)water systems.
contact your utility or municipality and explain that you’ve experienced a change in financial circumstances since March 7, 2020 due to COVID-19. Your utility or municipality must accept your self-certification.
Small business customers: contact your utility or municipality and certify that your business was financially impacted by COVID and that it meets the eligibility criteria (see above).
Please see forms below.
Contact your utility or municipality and ask for your service to be turned on. By law, utilities and municipalities must reconnect you within 48 hours while the moratorium is in effect.
Eligible residential customers should apply to the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) for help paying their heating and cooling needs. Beginning April 15, 2021, a third HEAP Emergency benefit is available for households to assist with their heating costs and covers utility and municipal electric and heating services as well as heating oil, propane, and wood. The HEAP cooling program opened on May 3, 2021. Contact your local Department of Social Services or HEAP
for more info.
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can help pay your rent and utility bills. Contact your local Department of Social Services or ERAP