The following programs are listed as a resource for non-profit organizations that assist clients with covering the costs of utility service:
(The following is copied from our residential assistance page at http://www.nj.gov/bpu/assistance/programs/index.html )
- TRUE Program
The Temporary Relief for Utility Expenses (TRUE) Program was established by the Board to provide one-time relief for gas and electric bills to moderate income households who are experiencing a temporary financial crisis. The Affordable Housing Alliance administers the program. One of the eligibility requirements for a TRUE grant is that you must not currently be receiving or have received within the past year, any benefit through the USF or LIHEAP program. For more information about TRUE or to fill out an initial intake form, click here. If you have questions, please call (732) 982-8710.
- Comfort Partners
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.
This program, which is administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, helps you pay for heating costs and may cover certain medically-necessary cooling expenses. Even if your heat is included in your rent, you may qualify, if you meet the eligibility criteria. You may submit an application for LIHEAP from November 1st, through April 30th.
For more information, please call 1-800-510-3102 or click here
- Universal Service Fund-Energy
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.
For more information about USF, please go to www.energyassistance.nj.gov or call toll free at: 1-866-240-1347
- Winter Termination Program
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 Program
Lifeline is administered by the Department of Health and Senior Services, provides a $225 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.
NJ SHARES is a non-profit corporation that provides assistance to individuals and families living in New Jersey who are in need of temporary help in paying their energy bills. To qualify for NJ SHARES, a person or family must be facing a financial crisis and not be eligible for welfare or other income-based energy assistance programs. Recipients must also have a history of good-faith payments of their utility bills. Applications for NJ SHARES grants can be made at any of the more than 150 participating social service agencies throughout the state. Upon approval, recipients may receive a one-time grant of up to $700 for gas and up to $300 for electric (or up to $700 for an all-electric home).
Please call NJSHARES at 1-866-657-4273 or visit them at www.njshares.org
- Telephone Assistance
Telephone assistance programs provide a discount on your monthly bill and/or provide a reduction in installation (hook-up) fees. 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), Food Stamp Program, Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP/HEAP), Medicaid.
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) Verizon New Jersey - 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 CustomerFeedback@REACHOUTMOBILE.COM
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 visit http://www.state.nj.us/health/senior/sanjease.shtml.