Have you been struggling with past due NJ utility bills? Are you one of the many New Jersey families that took advantage of the moratorium on utility shutoffs? If so, you are not alone. But what you need to know is that moratorium ends on June 30, 2021 and your family could be at risk of having your utilities shut off. If your past due balance on your utility bill or natural gas bill feels overwhelming, there is help.
We’re partnering with New Jersey Natural Gas to share how families can get help with past due New Jersey utility bills with New Jersey Natural Gas, PSE&G, and other utility providers.
Help for Past Due NJ Utility Bills
Many New Jersey families have past due utility, natural gas and water bills of hundreds or thousands of dollars. With the moratorium on shut offs ending on June 30, 2021, these families are suddenly at risk of having their utilities turned off. It doesn’t have to be that way. Shut offs can be prevented. Past due NJ energy bills can be paid with one of the free grants available to NJ families.
What kind of help is there for past due utility and energy bills?
A number of community organizations and programs like: Payment Assistance Gas and Electric (PAGE) grants, NJNJG’s Gift of Warmth program, and Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are offering free grants that can cover all or a portion of a resident’s past due natural gas, utility, and energy bills. These are grants, not loans. They do not have to be paid back.
- The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Universal Service Fund (USF) provide limited-income eligible customers with a credit of up to $1,800 directly to their utility bills.
- The NJ SHARES and the PAGE programs help moderate income-eligible residents with their heating and cooling bills, providing up to a combined $1,400 in credits to their energy bills.
- NJNG’s Gift of Warmth provides a one-time grant of up to $500 for those facing difficulties paying their natural gas bill.
Who qualifies for assistance with their energy bills?
You may be surprised who qualifies for help with their past due NJ utility bills. While it’s true that income requirements might vary from program to program, don’t assume you can’t qualify for assistance. Eligible households include seniors and limited- and moderate-income customers. For example, one program allows for a combined household income of over $120k for family of 4. NJNG’s Gift of Warmth program does not have income requirements.
The programs recognize there are unique circumstances that are impacting a family’s ability to pay their utility bills this year.
- Unemployment due to the current pandemic
- Unexpected medical costs
- Lost wages due to sickness
- Lost wages due to parents being home with children out of school
Moderate-income families may qualify for assistance where they hadn’t in the past. Some families may even qualify for more than one energy assistance program.
How do I apply for a grant for my past due NJ utility bills?
While the application process might be different for each program, most require you to start with an online application. You can click on any of the following links to get to that application.
- New Jersey Natural Gas Energy Assistance (EA) page
- NJNG’s Gift of Warmth Program
- NJ Shares
Please note that aside from Gift of Warmth, New Jersey Natural Gas does not sponsor these utility grants and the terms, conditions, and application process for each program may be different.
What do I need to apply?
Again, while programs will differ most will require the following items.
- Income (paystubs, unemployment or any $ received in the last 30 days)
- Utility bills
- Lease or mortgage statement (proof of residence in the state of NJ)
When do I need to apply by?
The time to apply is now. Many programs have a current deadline of June 30, 2021. This chance to apply for assistance won’t come again till this fall. It’s best if families apply for grants for the past due utility bills NOW to get help before their bills become DUE.
What if I don’t qualify for grants?
If for some reason your family doesn’t qualify for a grant for past due energy bills or natural gas, there is still help. Ask your utility provider about flexible payment arrangements.
Where can I learn more about getting help with my utility and natural gas bills?
New Jersey Natural Gas‘ experienced team of energy assistance experts are available 7-days-a-week to help you find a way to manage and pay down your natural gas bill. You can reach out to them by phone at 800-221-0051 and say “energy assistance at the prompt” or visit them online at https://njng.com/energyassistance.
Do you know a family that could use help with their utility bill?
There are many families having a hard time with utility bills. If you know one there’s a few ways you can help them.
- Share this article with them on Facebook using this link (https://www.jerseyfamilyfun.com/help-for-past-due-nj-utility-bills) and tag @JerseyFamilyFun and @NewJerseyNaturalGas.
- Share this article on Twitter with them on Twitter using this link (https://www.jerseyfamilyfun.com/help-for-past-due-nj-utility-bills) and tag @Jerseyfamilyfun and @NJNaturalGas
- Email them this link https://www.jerseyfamilyfun.com/help-for-past-due-nj-utility-bills.
- If you received this information through the Jersey Family Fun newsletter forward it to a friend or look for one of the social media buttons in the email.
Energy Assistance Week in New Jersey
To get residents of the State of NJ the financial relief they need, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) is encouraging all utility companies participation in their upcoming outreach initiative “Utility/Energy Assistance Week” occurring May 17-21, 2021.
With the combined efforts of the utility companies, State agencies and advocacy organizations, struggling New Jersey households can get relief before the moratorium expires on June 30, 2021. Learn more at http://njng.com/energyassistance.