The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (Board) is spreading the word about energy bill assistance programs available to help low-and middle-income residents with electric and natural gas bills this winter. These energy assistance programs help thousands of households to keep the lights and heat on each winter.
“The Christie Administration and the Board understand that sometimes in life residents may suffer a financial hardship and need help to keep their heat and lights on, especially during the winter months, said Richard S. Mroz, President, N.J. Board of Public Utilities. “We want people to know there are programs to help both low-and middle-income residents to off-set the cost of electric and gas utility service.”
Available Programs Include:
The Temporary Relief for Utility Expenses (TRUE) program provides electric and natural gas grants of up to $750 per utility company, per year to middle-income households ($48,612 – $109,113 for a family of four). TRUE is administered by the Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA). To review eligibility requirements or apply online, visit www.njpoweron.com or call the AHA’s Utility Assistance Hotline at: 732-982-8710. TRUE recipients may qualify for additional assistance through the PAGE program within the same year.
The Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) program provides electric and natural gas grants of up to $700 per utility company, per year to middle-income households ($48,612 – $109,113 for a family of four). PAGE is also administered by the AHA. To review eligibility requirements or apply online visit www.njpoweron.com or call the AHA’s Utility Assistance Hotline at: 732-982-8710.
The Universal Service Fund (USF) program provides a monthly bill credit to low-income households (up to $42,528 for a family of four) that spend more than 3% of household income on electric or gas costs, or more than 6% on electric heating costs. USF provides grants of up to $1,800 per year. USF is administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and shares an application with the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), enabling eligible applicants to qualify for both programs at the same time. Learn more at www.energyassistance.nj.gov or call the USF/LIHEAP hotline at 800-510-3102.
The Winter Termination Program (WTP) is a program that protects residential customers from disconnection of electric and natural gas from November 15th through March 15th if they participate in one of the following programs: Universal Service Fund, LIHEAP, Lifeline, Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD), Work First New Jersey/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or Federal Supplemental Security Income. People who are unemployed, have a medical condition and those who are unable to pay their utility bills due to circumstances beyond their control are also protected by the WTP. Customers must contact their utility company to request enrollment in WTP.
If after speaking to the utility company, a customer has questions regarding WTP eligibility, is in danger of discontinuance of service or has a complaint regarding their service they should contact the BPU’s Division of Customer Assistance at: 800-624-0241 or www.nj.gov/bpu/assistance.Related Articles: