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The Real Deal: National Grid asks PSC to help low-income customers
ALBANY -- We've all been dealing with huge energy bills but you may not have realized just how much they've grown. National Grid's supply costs for electricity have increased by 122% this winter compared to the same time last year. The utility has asked state regulators for permission to help some customers who've been struggling to keep up but the offer is limited.
National Grid has asked the NYS Public Service Commission for permission to help its low-income customers. Those who would be eligible for a credit on their bill must already be enrolled in one of National Grid's assistance programs. The utility says it'll put up a million dollars and the rest of the money to fund these credits has already been collected from ratepayers through a line-item on bills that pays for low-income assistance programs.
About 110,000 Upstate New York customers who are currently enrolled in the Low Income Discount Program, would receive a $20 bill credit. Another 6,000 HEAP customers who are in arrears and facing disconnect, would get up to a $250 credit and roughly 4,000 customers enrolled in what National Grid calls the Affordability program, would receive arrears forgiveness of up to $250.
The Public Service Commission needs to approve National Grids petition to offer the assistance. A spokesman for the PSC was unsure whether the matter would be discussed during the commissions next meeting on Thursday.