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Did you know that if you are having trouble affording your utility bills, there are many options for help?

 

PAGE Program

The Board established the Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) Program to provide relief on natural gas and electric bills for low- to moderate-income New Jersey households that are experiencing a temporary financial crisis. Eligible applicants cannot be receiving or be eligible for a Universal Service Fund (USF) benefit or a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefit. PAGE is administered by the Affordable Housing Alliance. For a list of eligibility requirements for these programs, or to apply online, visit njpoweron.com. If you have questions, please call (732) 982-8710.

Comfort Partners

This program is designed to improve energy affordability for income eligible households through direct installation of free energy efficiency measures and education about steps that everyone can take to save energy. Participants are asked to partner with the program to develop and carry out a household energy savings Action Plan.

For more information please call 1-888-773-8326 or click here.

LIHEAP

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. It helps New Jersey households pay for heating costs and certain medically-necessary cooling expenses. Renters who have their heating costs included in their rent may also qualify. Applications for LIHEAP are accepted from October 1st through August 30th of each year. To print applications, review eligibility requirements and locate your county application agency go to: nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/energy.html or call the hotline at: 1-800-510-3102.

Universal Service Fund

The Board created the Universal Service Fund (USF) to help make energy bills more affordable for qualifying households whose annual household income is at or below 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). The program was designed so that households most in need receive the highest benefit by using a percentage of income formula. Benefits appear as a credit on the household electric and/or gas bill (capped at $1,800 per year). USF is administered by the Department of Community Affairs.

  • Fresh Start: Fresh Start allows eligible New Jersey households participating in USF for the first time to earn forgiveness for pre-existing arrearages by making full, on-time payments for 12 months. You cannot apply for Fresh Start, but if you are eligible you will be enrolled by your utility company and receive information about the program in the mail.


For more information about USF, please go to https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/energy.html or call toll free at: 1-866-240-1347

Winter Termination Program

Administered by NJBPU, the Winter Termination Program (WTP) protects specific categories of customers from having their gas or electric shut off between November 15th and March 15th.   Those enrolled in specific programs (such as SSI, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, USF and Lifeline) are protected by WTP, and an additional “catch-all” category is included for people unable to pay their utility bills because of circumstances beyond their control such as unemployment or illness.

For more information on the Winter Termination Program, please call 1-800-624-0241.

Lifeline Program (Energy Assistance)

Lifeline is administered by the New Jersey Department of Human Services and provides a $225 annual energy benefit to seniors and the disabled who meet the PAAD eligibility requirements or who receive SSI.  The benefit is also available to customers who have electric and gas costs included in their rent. For more information about Lifeline, please call 1-800-792-9745 or click here 

NJSHARES

NJ SHARES is a non-profit corporation that provides assistance to income eligible New Jersey households in paying their energy, telephone and water bills. Applications for NJ SHARES grants can be made at any of the more than 270 participating social service agencies throughout the state.

Please call NJSHARES for more information at 1-866-657-4273 or visit their website at: www.njshares.org

Telephone Assistance (Lifeline Program)

The federal Lifeline telephone assistance program provides a discount on your monthly telephone bill.

 

Eligibility for the program is determined based on participation in any of the following programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), Federal Veterans Pension, or Federal Veterans Survivors Pension.

 

You may also qualify based upon your income level (below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Line). To participate in the program, you must submit proof of participation in the qualifying programs or income eligibility to the service provider, which must verify that documentation.



The Lifeline program is limited to one discount per household, and the level of services provided under the program may vary among providers, with some restrictions on the optional services available to participants.

 

For more information, please contact your local telephone service provider (listed below) for residential and broadband service:

 

1) Verizon New Jersey – 1-888-337-3339 (NJSHARES) or click the following link for more information:  NJSHARES 

2) CenturyLink/United Telephone Company of New Jersey – 1-800-201-4099 – www.centurylink.com/Pages/Support/LifeLine

3) Warwick Valley Telephone Company – 1-800-952-7642

 

For wireless service, please contact these providers:

 

4) Tracfone – 1-800-977-3768 - www.safelink.com

6) Virgin Mobile – 1-888-898-4888 - www.assurancewireless.com

NJ EASE

NJ EASE (New Jersey Easy Access, Single Entry) is an easy way for seniors and their families to get information about and access senior services.

NJ EASE is a toll-free telephone number to put you in touch with someone to help you learn about and apply for important programs and benefits. NJ EASE staff members are trained to provide you with answers and information on a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Home Care Services
  • Long Term Care Options
  • Transportation
  • Social Activities
  • Nutrition
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • And more…

NJ EASE promotes independence, dignity and choice for New Jersey’s older adults.

For more information, call 1-877-222-3737 or click here.