ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — A new program will help low-income customers pay off-past utility bills.

According to Gov. Kathy Hochul, $567 million has been made available to help pay electric and gas utility bills across New York.

Through this bill credit program, the State’s Public Service Commission is using the $250 million from the fiscal year 2023 Enacted State Budget to require utilities to provide a one-time credit to customers enrolled in the Energy Affordability Program.

Gov. Hochul said this aims to help eliminate unpaid utility bills that have accrued through May 1, 2022. The program also applies to customers that enroll in EAP by December 31, 2022.

“It’s unacceptable that far too many New Yorkers are at risk of having their lights shut off for failure to pay their utility bills due to financial problems caused by the pandemic,” Hochul said in a press release. “To address this, I partnered with the State Legislature to appropriate $250 million toward reducing the burden of utility arrears. Today’s action by the Public Service Commission builds on the budget appropriation and is a major step forward to help vulnerable New Yorkers maintain their utility services while they get back on their feet.”

The one-time, low-income utility bill credited requires no action by existing low-income customers enrolled in the EAP.

The bill credit is expected to be applied to customers’ accounts by Aug. 1, 2022.