Utility Bill Assistance



Orange and Rockland Utilities Neighbor Donation Fund

The Neighbor Fund from Orange and Rockland Utilities relies on donations and, as funding allows, offer assistance for utility and heating bills.

One of the main assistance programs from Orange and Rockland Utilities is the Neighbor Fund. It relies on donations and contributions from people and businesses in the community. So the fund provides individuals a way to give back to the community and it offers the less fortunate a means to pay their utility or heating bills.

The Neighbor Fund provides emergency and short term assistance to low income Orange & Rockland customers. The grants are issued for those that are unable to pay to heat their homes on their own due to an emergency. While the amount of help provided will vary, normally hundreds of families are assisted.

As indicated, the program does rely on donations. Contributions by current O&R customers (including businesses and households) provide half of of the money to the less fortunate. The rest of the money donated comes from Consolidated Edison, Inc., which is the parent company. They will match the donations dollar-for-dollar up to a certain amount.

Anything you contribute is tax deductible on your federal and state income taxes. You can either add money to your monthly energy bill payment or write a check to the company. All money goes to help the less fortunate and not to administrative expenses. Or call the company to apply or donate.

If you need assistance, note that only customers of Orange and Rockland Utilities or Piek County Light & Power are able to apply for cash grants. As many people know, a crisis can quickly turn a life upside down. An unexpected bill, financial reversal, an issue such as an unexpected medical problem, or a car accident are some of the more common causes. These emergencies can happen to anyone at any time. This is the type of situation that the Neighbor Fund was created to address.

The applicant will need to provide proof of the emergency, such as unemployment notification, copies of medical bills, or other required documents. In addition, you need to have applied to and exhausted all other state and federal government resources available first. There are no age requirements.

The Salvation Army in the region can also accept donations. They also accept, process, and evaluate all applications to the program. Cash grants from O&R as well as the Neighbor Fund are awarded to pay for energy bills and expenses no matter what type of fuel is used. So if you use electricity, oil, natural gas, propane, wood or coal, you can still apply. So they are other great resource to call.



By: Jon McNamara


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