TRENTON, NJ – With potentially hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents behind on utility bills due to Governor Phil Murphy’s extended COVID-19 shutdown, the good news is they have now have until December 31st before they can have their utilities shut off.
The bad news is they can face a shutoff during the middle of winter if they don’t pay their bills or work out payment plans with their utility providers.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today announced that he is extending the utility shutoff grace period until December 31st. The formal moratorium for utility shutoffs will end on July 1st, but a new grace period for resolving overdue bills will be extended through the end of 2021. Murphy said customers should enroll in payment assistance programs. Households with residential internet service accounts with school-aged children will also be protected from disconnection.
“No one will face disconnection of their gas, electric, or water services until the end of the grace period on December 31st, 2021,” Murphy said. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to work with their utility provided for these life saving services to be maintained.”
Murphy said hundreds of thousands of New Jereyans are facing shut-offs, which could create a social, health, and economic nightmare scenario for struggling residents in 2022.
Murphy said he is considering using some of the billions of dollars in federal funding to help residents with their bills.
The December 31st moratorium will also give residents three extra months due to the cold weather shut off moratorium that extends through March.