Are you behind on your energy bills in New Jersey? Assistance program expires December 31st

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TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday reminded New Jerseyeans still struggling to recover from his 2020 and 2021 pandemic lockdown that assistance is available for a few more weeks before his utility shut off moratorium expires.

“December 31st cutoff of the grace period for utility shutoffs related to non-payments due to a COVID-related issue is just a little more than two weeks away. If you owe money on your utilities, you have until December 31st to pay what you owe, arrange a payment plan, or apply for assistance and not risk losing service,” Murphy said. “With expanded income eligibility for some programs, you may be eligible for assistance even if you thought you were not. Additionally, the BPU’s annual winter termination moratorium on gas and/or electric shutoffs for residents eligible for numerous energy assistance or other programs is currently in effect through March 15, 2022.”

While the assistance program ends on December 31st, another New Jersey law kicks right in that prohibits utility companies from shutting off your gas or electric during the cold winter months. That protection expires March 15th.

Not covered in the protection is the shutoff of water services, but Democrats in Trenton are working on passing a bill to extend that protection before the end of the year.

“For a one-stop page to learn about the state assistance plans that are in place, lease visit the Board of Public Utilities website at nj.gov/bpu, nj.gov/bpu and click the link for assistance programs. That page will give you eligibility information and help you fill out an application. I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of applying for the assistance for which you are eligible, and again, time is of the essence as the grace period for shutoffs only runs until December 31st,” the governor added.