Public utilities serving Queens agree to provide bill breaks for federal workers impacted by shutdown

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If you’re a federal employee from Queens losing wages during the ongoing government shutdown, don’t worry about losing your gas or electric service due to unpaid bills.

The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) announced an agreement with the major utility companies serving New York State to assist unpaid and furloughed federal workers as the shutdown continues. The companies include Con Edison, National Grid and PSEG Long Island, each of which powers Queens with gas and/or electric services.

“The federal government shutdown is already taking a serious toll on many government workers and their families,” Public Services Commission Chair John B. Rhodes said of the voluntary agreement. “I want to thank New York’s utilities for their prompt response and sensitivity to the growing hardships these families are facing. Their actions will help ensure that New York’s federal government workers will not have to worry about keeping their homes warm and their lights on.”

The relief measures vary with each utility company, but the practices may include suspending or waiving late payment fees, extending or deferring payment due dates and crafting deferred payment agreement based on each customer’s financial circumstances.

Additionally, the utility companies may also place a collection suspend on accounts, suspend collection calls and disconnection notices, and waive late fees for federal workers who reach out to them about their unpaid bills.

These measures will remain in place until the shutdown ends and the workers are paid, the PSC noted.

Along with ensuring that federal workers’ services are continued, the PSC added, the relief measures also ensure that their individual credit ratings won’t be lowered due to their unpaid bills.

Any unpaid or furloughed federal employee who’s having difficulty paying their gas or electric bills should reach out to their utility company’s credit or customer services departments for assistance.

Con Edison customers can click here to learn more or call 800-75-CONED. National Grid customers can click here or call 718-643-4050. PSEG Long Island Customers can click here for details or call 800-490-0025.