There is Still Time - Customers Behind on Energy Bills Act Now to Prevent Disconnection
PSE&G resumes energy service disconnections on March 16
(NEWARK, N.J. – March 15, 2022) The winter moratorium on utility disconnections for non-payment is scheduled to end on March 15, 2022. Beginning March 16, PSE&G will resume collection activities and service disconnections for customers with past due balances who have not applied for energy assistance or a PSE&G payment plan. Service disconnection for non-payment is always the last resort. Customers who are behind on their bills need to act now to protect their energy service from disconnection.
"We never want to turn off a customer's electric or gas service for any reason, and we understand the enormous financial distress the pandemic has caused so many," said Jane Bergen, director of billing for PSE&G Customer Care. "We are ready and willing to work with customers who have fallen behind. We are offering more flexible payment arrangements.”
If you are at risk of service disconnection, contact PSE&G immediately to set up a deferred payment arrangement. Visit: pseg.com/MyAccount or call 800-357-2262. This action will protect your energy service from being disconnected. If you have recently applied for New Jersey's energy payment assistance programs, customers must inform PSE&G that you have recently applied by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the following information: account number, name of the assistance program to which you applied and how you applied and either the confirmation number or the name of the social services agency. This will protect your account from disconnection for 90 days while the applications are processed.
"For the past two years, PSE&G has been raising awareness about energy payment assistance, partnering with social service agencies, educating customers and offering support to ensure our customers take full advantage of the financial assistant programs available to them," Bergen said. "We're slowly starting to see our customers take action to protect their energy service from disconnection and apply for financial assistance."
Customers are beginning to take action: In the past month, calls to PSE&G's customer service line and visits to customer service centers have increased significantly. In anticipation of the increased call volume, the utility plans to double the number of agents available to support customers on the phone. And this week, PSE&G has opened all of their customer service centers to offer customers in-person personal assistance. The most efficient way to sign up for a DPA is to use PSE&G’s website and log into pseg.com/MyAccount.
Don’t be a scam victim: Utility scams are a real threat to our customers. Impostors will use the resumption of utility collection activities and contact PSE&G customers demanding immediate payment and threatening service disconnection. Learn more about protecting yourself against utility scams here: pseg.com/scamalert
Collections process: Before disconnecting a customer’s electric or natural gas service, a PSE&G representative will attempt to contact the customer of record to allow the customer to address their outstanding bill. If utility service is disconnected, PSE&G will leave a door hanger with information on how customers can address their outstanding balance to restore their service as quickly as possible.
Safety is our top priority: The disconnection of utility service for non-payment is upsetting and disruptive to everyone involved. Interfering with a utility worker while performing their job responsibilities is a crime. Under New Jersey's criminal code, utility workers are provided with the same enhanced protections as first responders. This special protection will automatically change a charge of simple assault against a utility worker to aggravated assault, which is an indictable crime.
Pandemic Utility Relief, Energy Assistance Programs:
Many customers may not be aware they could be eligible for pandemic relief or energy payment assistance programs as new funding has become available and program income eligibility has been expanded:
PSE&G Payment Arrangements: 800-357-2262 or pseg.com/HelpNow. PSE&G is offering flexible payment options and deferred payment arrangements (DPAs).
Universal Service Fund (USF): 800-510-3102 or energyassistance.nj.gov. USF includes an energy-debt forgiveness program called Fresh Start that can eliminate your past due balance. If you apply for USF, you are automatically enrolled in Fresh Start.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): 800-510-3102 or energyassistance.nj.gov
Payment Assistance Gas and Electric (PAGE): 732-389-2204 or 732-982-8710 or njpoweron.org
NJ SHARES (NJS): 866-NJSHARES (657-4273) or njshares.org
New Jersey Lifeline: 800-792-9745 or aging.nj.gov
Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest gas and electric delivery public utility, serving three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2020, PSE&G was named the most trusted combined gas & electric utility in the East Region, by the Cogent Syndicated Brand Trust Index. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company. PSEG has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 14 consecutive years (www.pseg.com).
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