There are a number of resources available to low income and struggling families in New Jersey when it comes to heating bill assistance. Many companies offer their own resources for energy, natural gas, and utilities. There are a few government programs that can help people who have low incomes to either pay their bills or help them to be prepared for different weather conditions. The Winter Termination program and other resources will help prevent disconnections, or you may be able to have your past due balance forgiven through the Fresh Start program. To learn more about programs that may be offered by NJ Natural Gas or PSE&G, click on the links below.
The state of New Jersey created a grant program called Temporary Relief for Utility Expenses (TRUE) in order to help people with their utility expenses. This program is run by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities as well as the Affordable Housing Alliance. Families who are struggling financially may be eligible for government assistance with paying their winter heating bills. This assistance can be in the form of a few hundred dollars to help cover the costs of gas and electricity. The amount of money available for something is limited.
Many consumers are protected from losing their heat during winter. The Winter Termination Program is a statewide program that provides financial assistance to families and companies that are struggling to pay their heating bills. PSE&G is one of the many companies that are covered by this program. Some of the people who benefit from this program are those who are enrolled in LIHEAP, Work First New Jersey/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Lifeline, SSI, or families who receive help from Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled. The Winter Termination Program also protects people who are unemployed or have a medical condition. Call your utility company and give them your proof of enrollment.
The main government program that assists low-income households with energy costs is LIHEAP. The program helps low income people by giving them money to help pay for winter heating bills. It runs from October to March. All help is limited and given on a first come and served basis, so sign up as soon as the enrollment period starts. Social service agencies in Newark, Jersey City, and other counties are responsible for processing applications.
People who rely on public assistance programs like Social Security or PAAD may be eligible for a few hundred dollars in assistance with their energy bills. You will only receive money if you use electricity or natural gas. You can apply for the New Jersey Department of Health by calling 800.792.9745 or stopping by in person.
The Home Energy Assistance Program may also have additional funds available for heating repairs, including repairing or replacing a furnace. Some programs help with air conditioning during the summer for people who have a medical condition that requires it.
There are a few energy conservation programs that are offered for free. Some examples of these programs are NJ Comfort Partners, Universal Service Fund (USF) Program, and weatherization. Comfort Partners is a service that helps you save energy and money by making your home more energy efficient. They will come to your home and install energy efficiency measures, give you tips and advice, and help you learn more about energy efficiency. The federal government has created a program called weatherization in order to help people conserve energy. The program provides free consultations to help you improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your energy consumption. Many homes in Newark and other towns are older, so it would be beneficial for them to conserve energy. The last program mentioned is the Universal Service Fund (USF) Program, which helps consumers save energy. All companies are participating in these conservation measures, including Atlantic City Electric and Jersey Central Power & Light.
Some of the things that can be provided are things that will help make your home more energy efficient. This can include getting new lightbulbs that are more energy efficient, getting a new fridge if your old one is not very energy efficient, getting a programmable thermostat, getting your furnace fixed or maintained so it does not use as much energy, and getting insulation for your home. The three programs are Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC). Applying for all three of these programs at the same time can provide significant financial assistance to a family. To reach customer service, please call 1.888.773.8326.
The NJSHARES organization provides heating assistance and energy resources to those in need throughout the state of New Jersey. This agency provides financial assistance for heating bills to low-income residents. Residents who do not qualify for other state or federal government energy programs may still be eligible for this assistance. Organizations that provide assistance accept applications at many locations throughout the state. This program provides up to $1000 to help pay for natural gas or electric bills. The funding for this program comes from the TRUE Program.
The Fresh Start Program is a program that helps people with low incomes pay their energy bills. It is offered by the USF, and is available for people who have less than a $60 balance on their energy bill. 1.866.240.1347 is the phone number to call for information. If you qualify for the Fresh Start program, your past due balances will be forgiven and your payment record will be improved. This has benefited thousands of PSE&G customers over the years. A customer needs to keep up with their payment plan, pay on time, and do this regularly for around one year. Your past due balance will be eliminated if you do all of this.
Emergency Assistance is a federal government option that helps people during crisis, mostly during the winter. It can help you pay to get your heat reconnected or restored, or it can help you pay for fuel or heating oil. If you have money available, you can also use it to pay part of your bill, so you don’t get disconnected when you need it most. Other emergency assistance may also include fixing a heater.