November 17, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Encourages New Yorkers to Make an Energy Plan Ahead of Winter

Governor Hochul Encourages New Yorkers to Make an Energy Plan Ahead of Winter

New York State Programs Help New Yorkers Manage Energy Use, Reduce Energy Bills, and Explore Electrification Solutions

Utilities and Fuel Providers Reminded to Ensure Adequate Reserves and Customer Communication

Traducción al español

Governor Kathy Hochul today encouraged New Yorkers to prepare now to keep their homes and businesses warm heading into winter. Multiple New York State agencies and authorities offer programs that can help residents manage energy use, reduce electric and heating bills, and increase comfort during cold temperatures by weatherizing and making these buildings more energy efficient. Governor Hochul also reminded the State’s utilities and fuel providers to ensure there are adequate reserves and communication with customers to meet peak winter demand.

“As the weather gets colder, New York State is prepared to assist residents and businesses in managing their energy use, maximizing energy efficiency, and understanding the resources available in case of extreme weather,” Governor Hochul said. “As consumers undertake their own planning, utilities and fuel suppliers should strategize now to meet consumer needs and enhance communication to reduce unexpected service interruptions and respond to emergencies.”

New Yorkers can take advantage of programs offered through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Department of Public Service (DPS), Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Service that provide assistance to keep families, particularly those of low-or-moderate income warm during the times of the year when energy consumption may be high.

New York State programs offer funding and technical assistance that can assist homeowners, renters, and businesses manage their energy needs. This includes:

  • Apply for HEAP. As of November 1, applications are being accepted for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) which can provide up to $976 to eligible homeowners and renters depending on income, household size and how they heat their home (e.g., family of four with a maximum monthly gross income of $5,838 can qualify). For more information visit NYS HEAP.
  • Energy Affordability Program/Low Income Bill Discount Program. This program provides income-eligible consumers with a discount on their monthly electric and/or gas bills, as well as other benefits, depending on the characteristics of the particular utility's program. New Yorkers can be enrolled automatically if they receive benefits from a government assistance program. For more information, they should visit their utility website or links can be found at DPS Winter Preparedness.
  • Community-based Service Programs. Service organizations and local community agencies provide financial aid, counseling services and assistance with utility emergencies. New Yorkers can contact organizations like the American Red Cross (800-733-2767), Salvation Army (800-728-7825), and United Way (2-1-1 or 888-774-7633) to learn more.
  • Take immediate action to be more energy efficient. NYSERDA offers energy saving tips for residents and homeowners, as well as businesses, that can lower energy use. NYSERDA also offers a range of home energy efficiency programs that can help save energy and reduce costs over time. Income-eligible customers may qualify for reduced cost or free energy upgrades to their homes through the EmPower+ program. Homeowners should also check with their local gas and electric utility companies to access discounted products and services
    that can help them lower their energy costs all year long.
  • Receive a customized list of energy-related assistance in the State. New York Energy Advisor can help income-eligible New Yorkers locate programs that help them spend less on energy and create healthier and more comfortable spaces. With New York Energy Advisor, consumers answer simple questions and get connected with energy-saving offers in New York State. Sponsored by NYSERDA and utilities, qualified New Yorkers can get help paying utility bills, receive special offers on heating assistance, and more.
  • Prioritize Home Heating Safety. Property owners should avoid connecting occupied buildings to wells producing natural gas because doing so can be dangerous and potentially deadly. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) also encourages property owners who use oil for heat to inspect fuel storage tanks for potential leaks or spills before receiving shipments of fuel oil for the heating season. Additional information can be found here.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “New Yorkers want to remain comfortable in their homes and businesses want to remain open, so taking steps now to safeguard their ability to do so as we head into the winter season is invaluable. We encourage all New Yorkers to understand their energy use and adopt energy efficiency measures as well as seek out the various services and products that can save energy and help reduce out of pocket costs.”

New York State Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “As we head into the colder months of winter, we ask New Yorkers to be prepared and start planning their energy usage to keep their homes and businesses warm while keeping their electric and energy bills fair. This is also a good time to remind consumers that New York state offers various services and products that help consumers adopt energy efficiency measures and also get assistance to reduce out of pocket costs for state residents.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “In preparation for cold weather in the months ahead, Governor Hochul is providing the resources and information New Yorkers need to help them stay warm and safe. DEC encourages property owners to prepare for the winter by making sure their home heating systems are safe to prevent potential spills or other issues, and to seek out cleaner energy sources and energy efficient solutions that can help protect both our wallets and the environment.”

New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Freezing temperatures can have serious consequences which makes it critical New Yorkers prepare their households for the winter months. When heating their homes this winter, New Yorkers should always remember to look for ways to make your home more energy efficient, as well as ensure that if an alternative heat source is being utilized, it is used safely in a well-ventilated area.”

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “With nighttime temperatures now dipping below freezing, it’s important that low- and moderate-income households act now to apply for assistance from HEAP so they can keep their homes warm throughout the winter. Now is also a good time to access other programs available to help reduce energy costs, including taking energy efficiency measures to ensure heating equipment is operating properly, helping to save energy and money.”

New York State Public Service Commission Chair Rory M. Christian said, “We continue to closely monitor the utilities serving New York State to ensure adequate sources and supplies of electricity and natural gas to meet expected customer demands this winter. New York State under Governor Hochul’s leadership remains laser-focused on ensuring the reliability of our energy systems and the protection of consumers though energy efficiency and bill reduction programs.”

New York State's utilities — including Con Edison, Central Hudson, Orange and Rockland, National Grid, NYSEG, RG&E, National Fuel Gas, and PSEG-LI — and home heating fuel providers were also reminded to ensure adequate fuel reserves, contingency plans, and to communicate with customers to help them access assistance programs, avoid disrupted service and to keep warm. Actions include:

  • Reminding dual-fueled and interruptible commercial customers to fill their alternate fuel tanks and to maintain and inspect fuel storage tanks for potential leaks or spills before receiving fuel shipments.
  • Reviewing emergency plans that address alternate fuel supply disruptions, and prepare to work with local and state government agencies to protect public health and safety when temperatures drop below 20 degrees.
  • Informing customers about warming centers, hot meals, and access to a list of master plumbers in case pipes freeze in unheated buildings.
  • Coordinating with the New York Independent System Operator and major power generators to encourage the dual-fuel operators to fill tanks in advance of the winter heating season and to inspect fuel storage tanks for potential leaks or spills before receiving fuel shipments.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35%, with a goal of 40%, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $55 billion in 145 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021 and over 3,000% growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with nearly 400 registered and more than 100 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the state to help target air pollution and combat climate change.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640


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