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FAQ - Can my utilities be shut off during the pandemic?

On June 14, 2021, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 246 extending existing COVID-related protections against utility service shut-offs in New Jersey through December 31, 2021.  In a signal that this will likely be the final extension of these protections, the new Executive Order provides that the “moratorium” period will end on June 30, 2021, while also providing a grace period during which the same protections will continue until December 31, 2021.  

New and expanded utility assistance programs are expected to be in place by October 1, 2021, and it will be important for customers with back utility bills to apply for these new and expanded benefits when they become available. Customers can also apply for existing benefit programs now – information about existing utility assistance programs is available here.

The COVID-related protections being extended include the following:

  • Electric, Gas, and Water:  No shut-offs of residential electric, gas, and water service for non-payment by any provider, whether publicly or privately owned, will be allowed until after December 31, 2021. 
  • Internet and Telephone:  For households that have one or more school-aged children using the account for educational purposes, no shut-offs of residential internet and telephone service will be allowed until after December 31, 2021.  In households where circumstances change such that one or more school-aged children will be using the account for educational purposes, the provider must reconnect any internet or telephone service that is currently shut off.  For customers with arrears who not covered by these protections, providers are required to offer payment plans that extend for at least 12 months.

You can view the Governor’s announcement here, and Executive Order No. 246 here.

(Return to Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants, Hotel/Motel Residents, and Other Occupants During COVID-19)​​​​​​

6/17/2021