Governor Murphy Announces Financial Assistance to Protect Residential and Commercial Utility Customers


Utility Shutoff Moratorium also Extended until October 15th

Governor Phil Murphy announced that the State’s public water, gas, and electric utility companies regulated by BPU have all agreed to extend their voluntary moratorium preventing shutoffs to both residential and commercial customers during the COVID-19 pandemic until October 15th. Additionally, the utilities will offer residential and commercial customers a flexible and extended Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) of at least 12 months and up to 24 months. No down payments will be required for this assistance.

The utilities have been communicating with customers about available assistance programs, account balances, and payment status. Beginning in September, the utilities will accelerate those outreach efforts.

Customers may start to receive shutoff notices in September. Should that occur, those customers should contact their utility as soon as possible prior to October 15 to make arrangements to continue their utility service, to explore enrolling in a DPA, and to learn about what other assistance programs might be available. However, no customer will be shut off before October 15.

Although utility service shutoffs are still suspended, customers should make payments toward their utility bills if they can. If a customer is struggling to pay, they should ask their utility company about assistance programs and payment plans, and they can also check NJBPU’s “Assistance Programs” page for information about State programs that are available to eligible customers.

Today’s announcement does not apply to cable and telecommunications companies. Those providers are covered by Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 126 that prohibits these companies from terminating Internet and voice service due to non-payment until 30 days after the current public health emergency has ended.

NJBPU reminds and encourages all utility customers and ratepayers who have questions about their service to first contact their utility. A list of public gas and electricity utility company phone numbers is available here. If a ratepayer is unable to resolve an issue with their utility company, residents should contact NJBPU’s Customer Assistance team by filling out this online form, or by calling (800) 624-0241 and leaving a voicemail.

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