2010-04-23 / Community

National Grid Sets Payment Options

During these challenging economic times, National Grid reminds its Rockaway customers about the range of payment programs and financial assis t ance available.

At the first sign of difficulty, customers who believe they may be unable to make their bill payments should contact National Grid at 718-643-4050.

National Grid employs a team of Consumer Advocates who are available to assist low-income and special needs customers who may be facing financial hardship. Consumer Advocates will provide early intervention, information on a variety of assistance programs, crisis bill paying management, outreach and education.

National Grid also offers a variety of helpful programs and payment options, including:

Balanced Billing — National Grid’s balanced billing program helps to spread payments out more evenly across the year. This is particularly helpful to those on fixed incomes. Customer sign-up is free of charge, and participants may choose to cancel at any time. To find out your proposed Budget Plan amount or enroll, call 718-643- 4050 or visit www.nationalgrid.com.

Deferred Payment Agreement — If you’ve fallen behind on your payments and cannot pay your bill in full, you may qualify to pay the past-due balance over time. After National Grid determines that you qualify for deferred payment and reviews your financial circumstances, it could offer you the opportunity to pay a specific amount toward your past-due balance each month.

Additional income-assistance programs are also available, such as the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The federally funded HEAP program assists income-eligible families in paying their energy bills. Households receiving public assistance, Supplemental Security Income or food stamps are most likely eligible. If you do not receive public assistance, you may still be eligible if your monthly income is at or below income guidelines for your household size. The NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) determines eligibility. To apply, please contact HRA by calling 311 or 1- 800-692-0557. HEAP funding is limited so it is important to apply as soon as possible.

National Grid Consumer Advocates can also connect customers with human service agencies in their community that provide bill payment assistance. In addition, upon request, Consumer Advocates will provide a variety of services to homebound customers, and provide presentations to consumer groups and agencies on energy saving tips, health and safety issues and payment options.

For more information on available programs and payment options, visit www.nationalgridus.com. For moneysaving tips and energy efficiency information, visit www.powerofaction.com. In addition, National Grid recently challenged to its customers to pledge to reduce their energy consumption by three percent every year for the next ten years. Customers can sign a pledge; participate in a free energy evaluation; and learn more about the company’s energy efficiency programs at www.powerofaction.com.

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