Posted Friday, August 21st, 2020
Customer Cut Offs Banned Until Oct. 15
Gov. Phil Murphy today announced that New Jersey’s public water, gas, and electric utility companies have agreed to extend their voluntary moratorium preventing shutoffs to residential and commercial customers during the COVID-19 pandemic until Oct. 15.
The utilities, regulated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, will offer residential and commercial customers a flexible and extended Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) of 12 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 suspended, customers should make payments toward their utility bills if possible. If a customer is struggling to pay, ask the utility company about assistance programs and payment plans, and also check BPU’s “Assistance Programs” page for information about State programs available to eligible customers.
BPU encourages all utility customers and ratepayers who have questions about their service to first contact their utility.
The Governor’s announcement does not apply to cable and telecommunications companies. Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order 126 prohibits these companies from terminating Internet and voice service due to non-payment until 30 days after the current public health emergency ends.