Translator Disclaimers
For Immediate Release: Contact: Tracy Munford
Date: 11/28/2023 609-940-1099
TRENTON – The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and the City of Passaic will host the Passaic County Utility Assistance Day on Wednesday, November 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Roman Palace, located at 194B Jefferson Street in Passaic.  Free parking is available.  This event will provide an opportunity for Passaic County residents to learn about available utility assistance programs and the options available to prevent shutoff of utility service.


“If you are struggling or falling behind on your payments this holiday season, we are here to help. New Jersey offers a wide range of assistance programs to help residents pay their utility bills. Don’t wait until you are faced with a service disruption,” said Christine Guhl-Sadovy, President of the NJBPU.


This event will connect residents with programs that can help provide assistance in paying utility bills. Several organizations will be available to help customers apply on site for utility grant programs including: Passaic County Administration, Paterson Task Force, US Latino Affairs Initiative, NJ SHARES and the NJ Department of Human Service’s Division of Aging Services. Also in attendance will be PSE&G, NJBPU’s Division of Customer Assistance and Office of Clean Energy, NJ Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Housing and Community Resources, United Passaic Organization, and Jewish Family Services.


"During the long, cold winter months, some of our most vulnerable residents are at risk of getting their heat, electricity, or water services shut off," said City Council President and Assemblyman Gary Schaer. "This fair provides residents with much needed resources related to utility payment assistance."


“As Mayor I am extremely grateful to our Assemblyman, our County Commissioners, the Board of Public Utilities, President Guhl-Sadovy and all the partners that are working together to provide this much needed utility assistance for the needy families of our areas,” said Passaic Mayor Hector C. Lora.  


During the winter months when heating bills are high, NJBPU urges customers in danger of disconnection to contact their utility company and enroll in the Winter Termination Program (WTP). Under WTP, certain gas, electric, water and wastewater customers are protected from shut-off of utility service from November 15-March 15.  Residents who currently participate in any of the following programs, or cannot pay their bill due to “circumstances beyond their control,” (such as lost income, unemployment, etc.) are eligible for the WTP:  Universal Service Fund (“USF”), Home Energy Assistance Program, Lifeline Utility Assistance Program, federal Supplemental Security Income, Work First New Jersey-Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Work First New Jersey – General Assistance or Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled.


“We urge people who need help paying their utility bills to apply for assistance,” said Department of Community Affairs Acting Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez. “Moderate-income households may be eligible for assistance as a result of increases in federal income limits so it’s important to check. Significant funding is available and we want to help New Jersey families keep up with their utility bills as we enter the winter season. Therefore, if you’re finding it difficult to afford utility expenses this year, don’t hesitate to reach out to state agencies.”


Additionally, customers in arrears who enroll in the USF program will be automatically enrolled in the Fresh Start program, which gives customers an opportunity to have their overdue gas and electric balances forgiven by paying only their current monthly bills on time and in full. This forgiveness will only be available for a short time, so apply for USF now if you have fallen behind. Self-screen for USF eligibility or apply online at:


“This is a wonderful opportunity for Passaic County residents to learn about the utility assistance programs available and how to apply. Many of the individuals and families we serve at Human Services are eligible for utility assistance but may not know it. This includes individuals and families participating in the Work First New Jersey program, the SNAP food assistance program, and older adults and people with disabilities participating in the Lifeline Utility Assistance Program. With the cold winter months just around the corner, I encourage all eligible residents concerned about higher utility bills this winter to attend this informative event and take advantage of programs like the Winter Termination Program to avoid potential service interruptions,” said Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman.


Residents attending the fair should bring the following:

  • One month of income statements for all adult household members from within the past 8 weeks, or zero income statement; 2) Copies of social security cards or residency status for all household members; 3) Proof of address (copy of rental lease or housing authority letter) or if homeowner – bring your tax bill, mortgage statement or deed; 4) All pages of electric, natural gas or heating bills.


For those unable to attend the Passaic County Utility Assistance Day, you can find out how to apply for utility assistance programs by calling 2-1-1 for more information. If you are in danger of shut off, please call your utility company to request protection under WTP. If you have a complaint about your utility company, please call the NJBPU at 800-624-0241 or visit online at


Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) 

NJBPU is a state agency and regulatory authority mandated to ensure safe, adequate and proper utility services at reasonable rates for New Jersey customers. Critical services regulated by NJBPU include natural gas, electricity, water, wastewater, telecommunications and cable television. The Board has general oversight and responsibility for monitoring utility service, responding to consumer complaints, and investigating utility accidents. To find out more about NJBPU, visit our website at