Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Sussex Rural has implemented a shut off moratorium for non-payment (until June 30, 2021) and a residential rate freeze. In addition, Sussex Rural will not charge residential members fees, interest, or liens for late payments during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
If you're having trouble affording your utility bills, there are some options for help. Below is an overview of the assistance programs available through Sussex Rural.
- 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.
- Payment Arrangements can be made between a member and Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative to help you catch up on your electric bill. If your account is more than $100 past due, you can apply for a deferred payment plan. The deferred payment plan allows you to pay just $50 a month if your account balance is below $900. If your account balance is above $900, you can pay your account balance over 18 months in equal installments. Your monthly deferred payment amount will be included in your future monthly bills.
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.
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.
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 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 NORWESCAP. You can submit your application using one of the following methods:
- To submit your application in person, visit 37 Main Street, Sussex, NJ 07462
- To submit your application by mail, mail it to 350 Marshall Street, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
- To submit your application digitally, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about this program, visit the NJ Department of Community Resources' website or call NORWESCAP at 908-209-7549.
Important Notes for SREC members participating in LIHEAP:
You are subject to being disconnected even during the Winter Moratorium.
You must reapply every year. Applications are typically accepted from October 22 to May 31st.
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.
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)/meet PAAD eligibility requirements or be a recipient of either Medical Assistance to the Aged (MAA), Medical Assistance Only (MAO), or New Jersey Care. Beneficiaries' income must be less than $27,951 (single household) or less than $34,268 (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.