Utility companies are well aware that many of their customers are facing very difficult financial hardships. If you are unable to pay your utility bills or are finding it increasingly difficult, call your utility company to find out about the programs and payment options that they offer that might be of assistance to you.
Atlantic City Electric (ACE)
Atlantic City Electric (ACE) offers programs and services to help those in need, including energy assistance, help for customers with special needs, and ways for neighbors to help neighbors.
Helping Hands Energy Assistance Program is intended to provide an additional source of financial assistance to low-income customers of Atlantic City Electric (ACE) who are experiencing difficulty paying their electric bills. This grant can be paired with LIHEAP, USF or NJ SHARES assistance.
Budget Billing - You can avoid seasonal peaks in your electric bills by dividing your payments evenly over the course of the entire year. Atlantic City Electric’s Budget Billing program has 11 “budget” months and one “settlement” month each year. During each budget month, your bill will include the “budget installment” (This is established based on your past energy usage patterns at your service location.) The amount you owe in the settlement month will include your actual energy costs for that month, as well as the difference (plus or minus) between the amount you paid during the previous 11 budget months and the amount of energy used during those months. To sign-up, contact Atlantic City Electric by phone 1-800-642-3780.
Extended Due Date - Atlantic City Electric’s Extended Payment Date Plan is for residential customers whose main source of total household income is from the government or other low-income programs. Qualified residential customers whose electric bill payment is due before the fifth day of the month (following the month in which the bill is issued) may request to have their due date extended without a late charge. The new due date would be between the fifth and tenth day of the month. To apply for the Extended Payment Due Date Plan, call 1-800-642-3780.
Payment Arrangements - Atlantic City Electric offers a variety of individually tailored payment arrangements to help bring your account up-to-date over a mutually agreeable period of time. Many of these arrangements can be made directly over the phone through a voice response telephone unit. Start by calling the company's regular customer service number, 1-800-642-3780, and then follow the automated instructions. If your telephone equipment or the nature of your account prevents you from submitting an automated payment arrangement, you will be connected to a customer service representative.
Third Party Notifications - If you are ill, unable to manage your own business affairs or plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, you may designate a relative, friend, member of the clergy or another third party to receive a copy of your disconnection notice for non-payment. The third party has no legal responsibility or obligation to pay the bill. However, that person can arrange payment of your bill or talk with an Atlantic City Electric customer service representative on your behalf. If you would like to participate in this program, simply call 1-800-642-3780.
Budget Payment Plan Elizabethtown Gas offers a Budget Payment Plan for those who want their bill to be the same amount every month for the next 12 months. This is a free service for residential customers whose accounts are up-to-date, and you can discontinue it at any time. To sign up, call the company at 800.242.5830, or visit one of their offices in Elizabeth (12 West Jersey St.) or Perth Amboy (296 State St.). The offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Energy Assistance If you’re having trouble paying your gas bill, Elizabethtown Gas suggests you reach out to ClearPoint, a national, nonprofit credit counseling service, by calling 800.251.2227. You can also visit ClearPoint's website.
Deferred Payment Arrangements If your account is past due, Elizabethtown Gas will work with you to set up a Deferred Payment Arrangement. This will allow you to pay off your balance over an extended period of time while staying current with any new bills. Call 800.242.5830, or visit one of their offices in Elizabeth (12 West Jersey St.) or Perth Amboy (296 State St.). The offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L)
Equal Payment Plan In the company's Equal Payment Plan (EPP), you're billed one-twelfth of your annual estimated usage each month. To account for your actual household use during the year, the reviews of your actual usage occur in the 8th and 12th months - it is at these times that payment amounts might be adjusted. Call 800.662.3115 for assistance. (TTY- 800.221.0479)
Extended Due Date If you are at least 60 years old and receive a Social Security or pension check, or if you receive disability assistance, and your electric bill is usually due just before your monthly benefit check comes, they will extend your payment due date until after your check arrives.
Extended Payment Plan If conditions make it difficult to pay your electric bill on time, they will arrange an extended payment plan. This maintains service while you make payments more suited to your financial situation.
Military Deferred Payment Program This program is designed to assist customers who are having financial difficulties because their family members have been called to active military duty. Customers participating in the program may elect to defer paying either all or part of their monthly electric bill. When the family member in the military service returns home, the account will be reviewed to determine payment arrangements for the balance owed. Call 800.686.3421 for more information.
Customers who have switched to an alternative generation supplier may defer the charges paid to their supplier only if that supplier offers a deferred payment program. If a supplier does not offer a deferred payment program, the supplier charges must be paid each month. Call 800-962-0383 to learn more about this program.
New Jersey Natural Gas Customers
Gift of Warmth This is a fund established by New Jersey Natural Gas to help customers with financial difficulties who cannot afford to pay their energy bills. Funded through contributions from customers, shareholders, and employees, the Gift of Warmth fund helps income-eligible households, as well as customers experiencing temporary or unanticipated financial hardship. The program is administered by the United Way through local Community Action Program (CAP) agencies. Call 800.221.0051 to learn more about this program.
Third-Party Notification This service allows residential customers to designate a relative, friend or government agency to receive a duplicated copy of any discontinuance notice for nonpayment of bills. The third party is not responsible for payment.
Budget Plan This plan can help by spreading out estimated annual natural gas costs evenly over 12 months at no additional charge. To join you can pay the “Budget Option” amount and any other non-gas charges shown on your NJNG bill, prior to the due date to automatically enroll in the plan. You can also visit My Account on NJNG’s website to join.
Deferred Payment Arrangements If you think you may not be able to provide full payment for your bill by the due date, you should contact NJNG at 1.800.221.0051. NJNG Customer Services can discuss special payment arrangements to bring your account up-to-date and check to see if you qualify for programs that install weatherization measures in your home free-of-charge. You can also set up a Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) to pay off your total balance in monthly increments with a visit to the NJNG website. Customers are urged to set up a DPA or contact NJNG to avoid collection efforts.
To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
- Balance must be no older than 60 days past due
- Must have made at least one payment in the past 90 days
- The account cannot be inactive due to non-payment
- You cannot have had another DPA in the last six months
For the Hearing and Speech, Impaired Customers who have access to teletypewriters (TTYs) may call a special toll-free number 800.223.0024. The TTY service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Life-Sustaining Equipment If you use any life-sustaining devices in your home, let the company know. If there is a disruption of gas service, restoration of your service will be a top priority. You can apply for this service by calling the Customer Service Inquiry Center at 800.221.0051.
Orange & Rockland Customers
Budget Billing If you've been a customer of O&R for at least 12 months, you are eligible to take advantage of their Budget Billing program. Budget Billing is the payment plan that lets you level your payments over a 12-month period. This enables you to know ahead of time what your monthly payment will be. To sign up for this, call 877.434.4100 Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 7:00pm except for holidays or access their online form on their website.
Get Well First If you're a customer of Orange & Rockland and you're hospitalized for a minimum of 10 days, Get Well First may help you qualify for a 30-day extension on your utility payment due date. Contact the company's customer service department for more information. Call 877.434.4100 Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 7 PM except for holidays or access their online form on their website.
Payment Agreements Are Available If you're having financial problems that make it difficult for you to pay your O&R bill, they will work with you to come up with a payment agreement. In making the agreement, they consider your financial circumstances and any income limitations that you may have.
As part of a payment agreement, they discuss a down payment and work out a payment schedule you can manage. The length of the agreement and the amount of each monthly payment will be decided between you and the company. To further assist you, they will adjust this agreement later if your financial situation changes.
Life Support Equipment (LSE) Program can help customers on electrically operated medical devices plan for an interruption in electric service. LSE Program customers are not guaranteed trouble-free service but are given special information to help them in emergency situations.
PSE & G Customers
PSE&G Equal Payment Plan PSE&G calculates your Equal Payment amount by dividing your previous year’s energy usage into 12 equal monthly payments. Your account will be reviewed every 6 months. If your energy use changes and your payment amount needs to be revised up or down, you will be notified.
Third Party Notification This program will let you know when your older, ill or disabled loved one’s bill is late.
Life-Sustaining Equipment Program If you or a loved one uses a respirator, dialysis machine or other types of life-sustaining equipment at home, you can receive priority power restoration if the power goes out.
For more information on any of these programs, call 800-436-PSEG (7734) or go to their website.
CITGO's Low Cost Heating Oil Program
The program, being implemented in partnership with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Citizens Energy Corporation, was created in 2005 to offset a perfect storm of catastrophic events within some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the United States. Decreased supplies, resulting from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, led to steep increases in fuel costs while cuts in the federal Heating Oil Assistance Program placed unbearable burdens on family budgets already stretched thin.
The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program uses eligibility criteria similar to that of the federal government's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). For information on eligibility, please contact Citizens Energy Corporation, a non-profit organization with whom CITGO is partnering for implementation of the program.
For more information call 877.JOE.4.OIL (877.563.4645) or visit their website.
Please Note: This resource is currently unavailable. Callers are prompted to call back in December for program information.
Local Utility and Supplier Representatives
Atlantic City Electric:
Jersey Central Power & Light:
Orange Rockland Electric:
New Jersey Natural Gas:
South Jersey Gas:
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