Moratorium on utility shutoffs to end July 1; grace period to run through Dec. 31

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed sign an executive order ending a prohibition on utility shutoffs aimed at helping people whose incomes took a hit because of COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

Jun 14, 2021, 8:30 PM

Updated 1,033 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy has signed sign an executive order ending a prohibition on utility shutoffs aimed at helping people whose incomes took a hit because of COVID-19.
The governor said Monday the moratorium will end on July 1, but a "grace period" will remain in place until Dec. 31. That means there will be no shutoffs before then. Murphy also said the extra time will give people a chance to enroll in a payment plan, if needed.
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The end of the moratorium is a concern to many New Jersey residents who have been having a hard time paying their electric bills during the pandemic.
The ban on utility shutoffs was a COVID-19 related order, and it forced utility companies such as JCP&L to keep power on despite a customer's inability to pay the bill. JCP&L has seen an increase in customers falling behind on their bills, also increasing the need for payment assistance programs and flexible payment options. 
According to a spokesperson, eligibility requirements for some assistance has not changed, but people's circumstances have changed — now making them eligible for help.
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"The moratorium may end July 1, but there is that grace," says Chris Hoenig, with JCP&L. "So, take advantage of that. Our customer service representatives are well-versed on a different assistance programs that are available for our customers. Our team will help you find a program that is best for you. We will do everything we can to make sure you're taken care of."
The governor also said that existing prohibitions on shutoffs for seniors and vulnerable populations during the winter months will allow some to extend the grace period until mid-March of 2022.
AP wire services helped contributed to this report.


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