Annual winter utility service shutoff prevention program has begun

TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities reminds the state’s utility customers that its annual Winter Termination Program began Nov. 15 and is available for eligible residential customers to prevent natural gas and electric utility service shutoffs during the winter season. The program, which is administered by NJBPU, runs through March 15.

“No one should be left in the cold due to financial hardship,” NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said. “The Winter Termination Program protects families during our coldest months, ensuring that their heat remains on until spring.”

All customers who enroll in the Winter Termination Program are required to establish a 12-month budget payment plan with their utility and should make every effort to post payments while enrolled in the program. While service cannot be terminated during the winter moratorium, customers are responsible for their utility bill balance once the Winter Termination Program ends on March 15.

Customers who receive benefits from any of the following programs are eligible to enroll in the Winter Termination Program: Lifeline Credit; Federal Home Energy Assistance; Work First New Jersey-Temporary Assistance to Needy Families; Federal Supplemental Security Income; Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled; Work First New Jersey/General Assistance Benefits; and Universal Service Fund.

The program is also available for customers who fall into a “catch-all” category of those unable to pay their utility bills because of circumstances beyond their control, such as unemployment, death of a wage-earner or illness.

In addition to enrolling in the Winter Termination Program, customers in need can seek utility bill assistance from several other available programs. More information about these programs can be found on the NJBPU website at www.bpu.state.nj.us/bpu/assistance/programs/.

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