National Grid today filed an upstate New York customer assistance proposal with state regulators that would provide up to $50 million in financial assistance to support its most economically vulnerable residential customers as well as businesses that are struggling because of the pandemic’s financial impact. The company sought input from the New York State Department of Public Service staff, customer advocates and other stakeholders to design the programs and determine how best to allocate the assistance to those most in need.
Funding for the programs will be targeted to customers who are in arrears and/or unable to pay their energy bills due to financial hardship stemming from the pandemic.
Enhanced Economic Development Programs
For National Grid’s business customers, the company’s proposal includes up to $25 million for a new arrears forgiveness plan and two enhanced economic development grant programs.
1. Upon implementation, distressed business customers who enroll in a Deferred Payment Agreement under the program’s guidelines, will receive a bill credit on a portion of their arrears if they are current on their DPA. *Note – any small – medium sized businesses
2. These customers may receive a second bill credit on a portion of their arrears upon completion of their DPA. *Note – any small – medium sized businesses
3. A new COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Grant Program that offers grants to large commercial and industrial customers for eligible recovery-related expenses, including personal protective equipment, environmental health and safety measures, interest expenses associated with pandemic-related loans, and machinery and equipment costs.*Note – very large customers in certain industry segments only
4. Further enhancing the existing Manufacturing Productivity Program so that qualifying small- and medium-sized business can apply for funds to support COVID-19 recovery and future resiliency, including business continuity planning, enterprise risk management, and support for employee/environmental health and safety. The funding would remain available through August 2021 or until program funding is depleted. *Note – manufacturers only.
Additional details regarding National Grid's proposal can be found in a press release, here.