(Camden, NJ) – Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Thursday that protects New Jerseyans from having their water, electricity or gas cut off, as well as internet for households with children in school, until March 15, 2021. The order extends the moratorium on such service disconnections that has been in place since the spring.
As part of the extended moratorium, $15 million from state COVID-19 relief funds will be earmarked as assistance for low-income households in the state to pay off overdue utility bills.
The order requires that any utility services cut off after statewide social distancing policies went into effect on March 16 this year be reconnected. It also requires utility providers to enroll customers into an interest-free repayment plan of at least 12 months of equal payments prior to disconnecting a utility service.
“With the winter months approaching, a pandemic still ongoing and our economy still in recession, it is important that we continue to make sure residents who are struggling to stay afloat financially aren’t suddenly without water, without heat, without electricity,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. “We have to make sure that kids who must have internet access for remote schooling continue to have that access.”