Energy Assistance Programs for Low-income NJ Residents
Energy Assistance Programs?
Did you know that if you are having trouble affording your utility bills, there are many options for help?
· NJ EASE
The Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) Program was established by the Board to provide relief on natural gas and electric bills for low to moderate income New Jersey households who are experiencing a temporary financial crisis. Eligible applicants cannot be receiving or be eligible for a Universal Service Fund (USF) benefit or a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefit. PAGE is administered by the Affordable Housing Alliance. For a list of eligibility requirements for these programs, or to apply online njpoweron.com. If you have questions, please call (732) 982-8710.
This Program is designed to improve energy affordability for income eligible households through direct installation of free energy efficiency measures and education about steps everyone can take to save energy. Participants are asked to partner with the program to develop and carry out a household energy savings Action Plan.
For more information please call 1-888-773-8326 or click here.
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and helps New Jersey households pay for heating costs and certain medically-necessary cooling expenses. Renters who have their heating costs included in their rent may also qualify. Applications for LIHEAP are accepted from October 1st through April 30th of each year. To print applications, review eligibility requirements and locate your county application agency go to: www.energyassistance.nj.gov or call the hotline at: 1-800-510-3102.
The Universal Service Fund (USF), was created by the Board to help make energy bills more affordable for qualifying households whose annual household income is at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). The program was designed so that households most in need receive the highest benefit by using a percentage of income formula. Benefits appear as a credit on the household electric and/or gas bill (capped at $1,800 per year). USF is administered by the Department of Community Affairs.
- Fresh Start: Fresh Start, a special program under USF, allows eligible New Jersey households participating in USF for the first time to earn forgiveness for pre-existing arrearages by making full, on-time payments for 12 months. You cannot apply for Fresh Start, but if you are eligible you will be enrolled by your utility company and receive information about the program in the mail.
For more information about USF, please go to www.energyassistance.nj.gov or call toll free at: 1-866-240-1347
Administered by the BPU, the Winter Termination Program (WTP) protects specific categories of customers from having their gas or electric shut off between November 15th and March 15th. Those enrolled in specific programs (such as SSI, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, USF and Lifeline) are protected by WTP, and an additional “catch-all” category is included for people unable to pay their utility bills because of circumstances beyond their control such as unemployment or illness.
For more information on the Winter Termination Program, please call 1-800-624-0241.
Lifeline is administered by the New Jersey Department of Human Services and provides a $225 annual energy benefit to seniors and the disabled who meet the PAAD eligibility requirements or who receive SSI. The benefit is also available to customers who have electric and gas costs included in their rent. For more information about Lifeline, please call 1-800-792-9745 or click here
NJ SHARES is a non-profit corporation that provides assistance to income eligible New Jersey households in paying their energy, telephone and water bills. Applications for NJ SHARES grants can be made at any of the more than 270 participating social service agencies throughout the state.
Please call NJSHARES for more information at 1-866-657-4273 or visit their website at: www.njshares.org
The telephone assistance program provides a discount on your monthly bill. Eligibility is determined based on your income or participation in other assistance programs. In general, if you participate in any of the following programs you also may qualify for telephone assistance: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families/Work First New Jersey (TANF), General Assistance, Lifeline Utility Credit/Tenants Lifeline Assistance, Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP/HEAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, National School Lunch Program.
Telephone assistance is available to you if you are a qualified residential telephone customer. When you are seeking telephone assistance, please keep in mind that each telephone company and/or each program has different eligibility requirements, different benefits available and different restrictions. Some programs have restrictions on the optional services available to participants.
The following list of telephone service providers participate in Lifeline Assistance and Link Up programs in New Jersey:
1) If you are a Verizon New Jersey customer, please call NJSHARES at 1-888-337-3339 or visit them at NJSHARES for more information.
2) CenturyLink/United Telephone Company of New Jersey – 1-800-201-4099 – www.centurylink.com/Pages/Support/LifeLine
3) Warwick Valley Telephone Company - 1-800-952-7642
4) Tracfone - 1-800-977-3768 - www.safelink.com
5) Nexus - 1-877-870-9222 [email protected]
6) Virgin Mobile - To learn more about Assurance Wireless and to apply, New Jersey residents should call 1-888-898-4888, or visit www.assurancewireless.com. Information is available in English and Spanish.
NJ EASE (New Jersey Easy Access, Single Entry) is the easy way for seniors and their families to get information about and access senior services.
NJ EASE is one toll-free telephone number to put you in touch with someone to help you learn about and apply for important programs and benefits. NJ EASE staff members are trained to provide you with answers and information on a wide variety of topics, including:
- Home Care Services
- Long Term Care Options
- Social Activities
- Volunteer Opportunities
- And more…
NJ EASE promotes independence, dignity and choice for New Jersey’s older adults.
For more information, call 1-877-222-3737 or click here.