Utility Arrears

COVID-19 Utility Moratorium Protections

Utility & Water Assistance Instructions

Utility & Water Assistance Instructions - Spanish

How to Get Help with Shut-Off Notices from the Gas or Electric Company

  • If HEAP is open, we encourage you to apply with them first.  HEAP is located at 460 Main St, 2nd floor, and may be reached at 716-858-7644. 

  • If you receive Temporary Assistance or cash benefits, you should contact your TA worker directly, who may be able to put your gas or electric on voucher.  If you don’t have your worker’s phone number, you can call 716-858-8000 for more information. 

  • If HEAP is unavailable and you don’t receive Temporary Assistance, you should contact your utility company directly to find out what other options are available to you.   Ask them to complete a financial statement.

    • For National Fuel, call 716-686-6123.  Due to COVID-19, National Fuel does not currently provide in-person service at 409 Main Street..

    • For National Grid, call 1-800-443-1837.

    • For NYSEG, call 1-888-315-1755.

Financial Statement & Payment Arrangement

  • You and the utility company representative will discuss your household’s monthly income and expenses, as well as any resources available to you, like money in the bank.  You may need to provide documentation of the items you mention to the representative in order to qualify for a payment arrangement.

  • After updating your financial statement, the representative will determine what payment must be made to keep your service on (or to turn it on, if you’ve already been turned off).  If you are offered a deferred payment arrangement, you should accept it.   This will continue your service.   
  • If you are not offered a deferred payment arrangement, or if you cannot afford the payment amount requested, then you may apply for emergency assistance.

Utility Arrears

  • Emergency Services, 460 Main St, 2nd floor, may assist you with a one-time payment of utility arrears if you have fallen behind on making payments, and have received a denial of service or shut-off notice from the gas or electric company.

  • Utility arrears payments are made as an interest-free loan or as a grant, depending on household income and composition.   

  • Payments cover a maximum of the last 4 months’ bills; if your service has been off longer than 4 months, we may be unable to assist you.  

  • Income limits apply differently for utility arrears assistance.  If you earn more than your household size might receive in Temporary Assistance (usually called the TA standard), you may be eligible for an interest-free loan.   If you earn less or receive SSI, you may be eligible for a grant.
  • Interest-free loans for utility arrears must be repaid within 24 months.  Failure to repay your loan in full, or keep payments up-to-date, may result in denial of future utility arrears assistance.  This may occur if your income is above the TA standard and we are no longer in the cold weather season (usually April 16-October 31st).  

  • Along with other common documents needed for application, bring your shutoff notice or denial of service and your financial statement, if you were given a paper copy.   (If you were not provided a paper copy, most likely the utility company updated it on their website, which we can access).   If your service was turned off more than 30 days ago, you will also need a pending account number.  

  • You must also bring proof that you are tenant of record and customer of record, which means that you are the head of household and the person with the utility account.

10/07/2021 - 3:09 pm