Utility Relief Available for NJ Households with Overdue Bills
About 350,000 New Jersey households have overdue electric and natural gas bills. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has notified these residents they are potentially eligible for assistance to pay their utility bills.
DCA Commissioner Sheila Oliver explained that the pandemic has forced many families to choose between paying for other essentials, like food, and utilities. The grace period for paying overdue utility bills is set to expire on December 31st.
The NJ Board of Public Utilities expanded eligibility for the Universal Service Fund and Fresh Start Programs so more NJ residents can get help, and $375 million in federal funding has been set aside for utility payments.
Letters were mailed to households with a WR code to scan with a cell phone to access the State website and apply for relief, as well as phone and website contact information. Households have one month from the time they receive the letter to complete the application and have a COVID hardship certified as the cause of their inability to pay gas or electric bills. If deemed eligible, they will receive credits on their utility account.
There is additional assistance available for families in need that are current on utilities, the NJ Universal Service Fund application can be found here. To find out if you are eligible for this assistance, there is an anonymous online screening tool called DCAid here.
Read more here on the NJ State Board of Public Utilities website.