Freeholders Offer Information on Energy Assistance Programs

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(Camden, NJ) – With a code blue alert in effect until Sunday, Feb. 3., and a prolonged cold snap affecting the entire county, the Freeholder Board is reminding residents that they have numerous options to apply for energy assistance if they are having difficulty paying their energy bills. In general, most applications for assistance are not submitted until March, but with the consistent below freezing temperatures, now is the time to apply if residents believe they will need support. 

“Due to this extended period of dangerous cold, winter weather, the Board wants to make sure that homeowners and renters are aware that these valuable resources are available to assist them and their families,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services. “If you do find yourself falling behind on your energy bills, you should contact your provider immediately. They are willing to work with you to establish a payment plan that works within your budget.”

The Camden County Council on Economic Opportunity (OEO) is the local agency that provides home energy assistance to both homeowners and renters. Applications are available at www.camdencountyoeo.com, by calling (856) 910-1180, or by walking into one of their many locations. Homeowners can also contact OEO to apply for home weatherization funding, which will reduce utility bills this year and into the future.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and assists residents in paying for heating costs and certain medically necessary cooling expenses. For more information, call (800) 510-3102 or visitwww.energyassistance.nj.gov.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) helps ensure energy bills are more affordable for eligible customers. Call (800) 510-3102 or visit www.energyassistance.nj.gov for details.

The Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) program provides relief on natural gas and electric bills for low to moderate-income New Jersey households that are experiencing a temporary financial crisis. Certain restrictions apply. For more information, call (732) 982-8710 or visit www.njpoweron.org.

The TRUE Grant program assists customers who are ineligible for low-income programs by providing up to $750 toward their Atlantic City Electric bill. Visit www.njpoweron.org or call (732) 982-8710 for more information.

New Jersey SHARES is a nonprofit corporation that provides assistance to income eligible New Jersey households in paying energy, telephone and water bills. Applications for New Jersey SHARES grants can be made at any of the more than 270 participating social service agencies throughout the state. Visitwww.njshares.org or call (866) 657-4273 for details.

Lifeline is a utility assistance program that offers $225 to persons who meet certain income guidelines. This benefit includes utility customers as well as tenants whose utility bills are included in their rent. Call (800) 792-9745 for details.

For more information about energy assistance programs, visit www.nj211.org or call 211, New Jersey’s non-emergency helpline, available 24/7 throughout the state.

Customers of Atlantic City Electric can contact their Customer Care Center at (800) 642-3780 and ask about Budget Billing or register for My Account, a web-based interactive tool that is free and easy to use. My Account provides customers with a detailed analysis of their specific electric use and offers ways to save energy and save money on their monthly energy bill.

For more information or assistance, call Camden County at (866) CAMDEN COUNTY.