If you're having trouble affording your utility bills, there are some options for help.
The Winter Termination Program
The NJ Department of Community Affairs has implemented a Winter Termination Program to prevent service discontinuation for eligible residential customers receiving residential electric service from a local authority, municipal utility, or rural electric cooperative from November 15th through March 15th. Service cannot be disconnected during this period to those residential customers who demonstrate at the time of the intended termination that they are:
- Recipients of benefits under the Federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) or certified as eligible therefore under standards set by the New Jersey Department of Human Services.
- Recipients of benefits under the Lifeline Credit Program.
- Persons unable to pay their utility bills because of circumstances beyond their control. Such circumstances shall include, but shall not be limited to, unemployment, illness, medical-related expenses, recent death of an immediate family member, and any other circumstances which might cause financial hardship.
- A participant in any other state or local program that provides assistance, specifically to help eligible customers pay electric, sewer, or water bills.
If you are having trouble paying your electric bills, you may be able to temporarily stop your service from being disconnected through the state's Winter Termination Program. To qualify for the Winter Termination Program, you can either advise us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 973-875-5101.
Please be advised:
- The debt does not go away. All of the money owed must be repaid after March 15th or your services will be disconnected.
- All customers in arrears should be referred to NJ 211 (see below) for possible assistance.
- Regulations require good-faith payments be made during the period if you are able.
- Forward any electric financial assistance received to Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative
Levelized Billing helps even out your monthly payments by using a 12-month rolling average of your actual consumption. This is especially helpful for people with electric heat or who use air conditioning. You have to be current in your payments to be eligible for this program. To see if you qualify for this option, please contact our office by calling 973-875-5101 or emailing email@example.com.
Looking for more ways to reduce your bill? Visit our Ways to Save page for energy-saving tips you can use at home.
Help exists outside of the Co-op as well. Below are several organizations and other resources that Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative members in need may be eligible for. Click the tabs below to display more information.
New Jersey 211 is a free information and referral service that connects people with resources that are best suited to meet their specific needs. The 211 service is available nationwide and works on a state level to provide struggling individuals and families with a database of over 10,000 local programs and services that cover needs like housing, utility assistance, employment, and more.
NJ 211 is open 24/7, 365 days a year. It is a confidential, multilingual, and absolutely free longstanding service which is a great resource for Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative members in need of aid.
To receive help from NJ 211, simply use your phone to dial 2-1-1, or text your ZIP code to 898-211. You can also visit their website at www.nj211.org to find more information on how they can help you.
Applications are currently being accepted for LIHEAP! If you need assistance paying your electric bill, you can find more details below.
Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative members in need of energy assistance may be eligible to participate in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, HEAP, or HEA. This program is offered in Sussex County through NORWESCAP or Family Promise of Sussex County.
The Home Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded grant program designed to assist low-income New Jersey residents in paying their winter heating bills and summer cooling bills under certain circumstances. You can find a current fact sheet on the program here.
You can determine if your household is eligible for this program using the chart below:
If you are eligible, complete an application and submit it to your local application agency, which for Sussex County residents is either NORWESCAP or Family Promise of Sussex County. You can submit your application using one of the following methods:
- To submit your application in person, visit NORWESCAP at 37 Main Street, Sussex, NJ 07461
- NORWESCAP staff can assist you in filling our your application. They accept walk-ins at their Sussex office Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 am - 3 pm. Call 973-862-6680 to make an appointment outside of these hours.
- To call for more information on other options, dial 973-862-6680
Family Promise of Sussex County
- To submit your application in person, visit Family Promise of Sussex County at 19 Church Street, Newton, NJ 07860 or their location at the Sussex United Methodist Church at 15 Bank Street, Sussex, NJ 07461.
- To call for more information on other options, dial 973-579-1180
For more information about this program, visit the NJ Department of Community Affairs' website.
Important Notes for SREC members participating in LIHEAP:
You are subject to being disconnected even during the Winter Moratorium.
You must reapply every year. The current application period began on October 1st, 2023 and will remain open until June 30th, 2024.
You must notify Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative that you have been accepted in the program. They do not inform us directly.
Required documentation is extensive and applications are not accepted without all the items. Be sure you have everything before going to apply.
If you received LIHEAP/USF last year, you are eligible to apply for the program through a process called recertification. The application for those eligible for this process is automatically started within the system. Applicants using the recertification process will be contacted by mail and asked to supply less documentation.
Lifeline is a utility assistance program that aims to provide funding for qualifying disabled and senior citizens who need assistance in paying their utility bills. Recipients must reapply annually to continue to receive their $225 annual benefit.
In order to qualify for Lifeline, beneficiaries must be a recipient of Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) or meet PAAD eligibility requirements, or be a recipient of either Medical Assistance to the Aged (MAA), Medical Assistance Only (MAO), or New Jersey Care. To be eligible for PAAD, you must be a New Jersey resident who is 65 or older (or between 18 and 64 and receiving Social Security Disability) and have an income that is less than $42,142 (single household) or less than $49,209 (married).
Click here for more information, or call the Lifeline hotline at 1-800-792-9745.
Social Services in New Jersey may be aware of additional resources and programs. For assistance in Sussex County, call them at 973-383-3600 or visit their website.
If you are struggling and any of these options seem like something that would help you, please do not hesitate to reach out. Call our office at 973-875-5101 and ask for more details. We will let you know if you are eligible to enroll.