MASSENA — The Dwelling Vitality Help Program (HEAP) has been prolonged this 12 months till June 30 or till the funds are exhausted, providing Massena Electrical Division clients an additional alternative to use for help with their electrical invoice.
“HEAP was extended through the end of April, and now it’s been extended as an opportunity for a customer to get another emergency benefit,” Treasurer Jeffrey Dobbins mentioned.
“Usually HEAP is closed by now,” Superintendent Andrew McMahon mentioned.
HEAP helps eligible households meet their dwelling power wants within the winter season. The cash will pay for gasoline, the particular person’s utility supply, gear and/or repairs.
Mr. Dobbins mentioned 90 to 95 % of MED’s clients who’re eligible for HEAP reply and request the help.
“Even though it’s been extended, it doesn’t mean all of our customers take advantage of it. Some customers aren’t motivated until everything’s happened,” he mentioned.
Mr. McMahon mentioned eligible clients must reap the benefits of the chance to obtain the profit.
“The fact that we can help customers get out of disconnect and get caught up on their bills this late in the year is a big deal,” he mentioned.
The division can be making an attempt to help clients in different methods through the coronavirus interval. As an example, whereas they’re sustaining regular billing practices, they’ve quickly suspended any disconnect actions.
Whereas MED has maintained their regular working hours, their workplaces are closed till additional discover due to COVID-19 considerations. They encourage clients to pay by one in all a number of strategies.
Fee by verify or cash order may be dropped off on the night time drops in entrance of their constructing and the Massena City Corridor, or may be mailed by the U.S. Postal Service.
Clients can even pay by their on-line banking, on-line at www.massenaelectric.com, or by calling 844-915-2876. MED has quickly waived all charges that might usually be charged for on-line and cellphone funds. That waiver was set to run out on June 1, however has been prolonged till July 7.
“Based on where we’re at and what’s been going on, we had a discussion with the Finance Committee” and agreed to the extensions, Mr. Dobbins mentioned.
Deputy Treasurer Lori Pryce mentioned clients have been benefiting from the assorted fee techniques corresponding to Digital Fund Switch (EFT), Automated Clearing Home (ACH) or Bill Cloud, the division’s on-line fee system.
“Invoice Cloud continues to do well. During the month of April, we took in over 1,300 payments through Invoice Cloud and waived another $4,100 in fees for the month of April,” she mentioned. “We took in almost $159,000 strictly through Invoice Cloud.”
Ms. Pryce mentioned that they had one other 290 first-time clients for Bill Cloud.
“259 of those typically pay in cash,” she mentioned. “Twenty-one percent of all payments we got through Invoice Cloud in April were new customers, new to the service.”
The cellphone fee system has been operating since Could 6, and Ms. Pryce mentioned 28 funds totaling almost $2,000 have been made by that methodology.
She mentioned, since MED started waiving the charges for the net and cellphone fee techniques, they’ve waived almost $8,300 in charges for greater than 2,700 clients.