In a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has placed economic burdens on many residents and businesses across the region, Atlantic City Electric, South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas joined together to host a virtual energy assistance summit. The event provided a forum for nonprofits and other community partners to hear directly from state and industry leaders and energy assistance experts about available resources to support New Jersey energy customers with their bills. The collaborative summit delivered needed information to organizations that work to connect local residents facing hardships with energy assistance options.
In addition to learning more about energy assistance programs such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and New Jersey SHARES, attendees also heard from New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso about the steps New Jersey is taking to address the challenges posed by the pandemic and efforts to make energy assistance even more accessible.
“The Board of Public Utilities understands that many are still struggling, and we are working hard to develop solutions in collaboration with our utilities across the state,” said President Fiordaliso. “I want to thank our utilities, gas, electric, telecommunication, and water, for their cooperation during these extenuating times. We pulled together as a family to make sure no one is left behind and that anyone who needs help can get help today.”
“Energy assistance is more crucial than ever, and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to discuss the Lifeline Utility Assistance program,” said Louise Rush, director of the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging Services.
“As a community partner, the Energy Assistance Summit was very helpful and informative,” said Bernadette Blackstock, People for People Foundation CEO. “It is always worth it when the attendees learn something new to support the residents that may be facing economic hardship during these challenging times.”
“In the past year, we’ve been reminded again and again of the importance of working together,” said Gary Stockbridge, Atlantic City Electric region president. “Our community partners are on the front lines of connecting our customers with available energy assistance, and their support is more important than ever. As we navigate the coming months and the increasing energy use that summer brings, we are committed to do everything we can to help customers manage their energy usage and provide the support they need through payment arrangements, budget billing and other resources.”
For more information on assistance and resources from Atlantic City Electric, please visit atlanticcityelectric.com/help.
“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been committed to delivering uninterrupted natural gas service to customers, regardless of their ability to pay. Now as the State of New Jersey provides guidance about extending the shut-off moratorium, we want to do everything in our power to continue to raise awareness of available assistance programs,” said Melissa Orsen, SVP, SJI and president and COO, South Jersey Gas.
South Jersey Gas customers who wish to learn more about energy assistance should visit southjerseygas.com/for-my-home/my-service/financial-assistance.
“We know that financial hardships continue and for many people have compounded since start of the pandemic. We want to lighten that burden as much as possible, and it is great to work with fellow utilities as well as community and government partners to provide assistance to those in need. We stand by the communities we serve as they try to recover financially and emotionally from the difficulties of this past year,” said Christie McMullen, president and COO, Elizabethtown Gas.
Elizabethtown Gas customers who wish to learn more about energy assistance should visit elizabethtowngas.com/residential/energy-assistance.
Atlantic City Electric, South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas are reminding customers who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to contact their energy providers now to establish payment arrangements and get connected to customer assistance programs that can help get their accounts up to date.
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