Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Extending Utility Shutoff Moratorium Through June 30, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (STL.News) Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 229, extending a moratorium preventing New Jersey residents from having their utilities disconnected through at least June 30, 2021. The moratorium was previously set to expire on March 15, 2021, pursuant to Executive Order No. 190 (2020). The moratorium applies to all residential gas, electric and water utilities, both public and private. Further, the utilities will not be permitted to charge late fees nor fees to reconnect services that have been disconnected.
“Despite the fact that we now see the light at the end of the tunnel for the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are still reeling from the economic impacts of the virus,” said Governor Murphy. “This extension, along with our prior extension, is the right thing to do to help New Jerseyans who are struggling to make ends meet.”
“Thank you, Governor Murphy, and thank you to our utility partners for your ongoing commitment to assisting New Jersey ratepayers during this truly unprecedented situation,” said President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “We know that many residents continue to face economic hardship and are struggling to pay their bills, including utility bills. As we mark a full year of this pandemic and start to see hope on the horizon, our return to normalcy will take time. The moratorium on shut-offs is now extended through at least June 30. We are all in this together and I encourage residents to use this time to reach out to your utility to set up a deferred payment plan, or to contact the BPU and enroll in one of several assistance plans as the last thing we want is for customers to find themselves facing high bills at the end of the moratorium. We are here to help.”
The moratorium extension also applies to cable and telecommunications providers, which are prohibited from disconnecting Internet service in households that have one or more school-age children that may be using such service for educational purposes. Also, if a household experiences a change of circumstances where school age children will be using their home Internet service for school, the cable and telecommunications company will be required to reconnect that Internet service.