NJ ending utility shutoff moratorium for customers with overdue bills

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TRENTON, N.J. — The moratorium on utility shutoffs for New Jersey customers with overdue bills during the pandemic will end next month, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

The governor said he would sign an executive order on Monday that formally ends the moratorium beginning July 1, but also creates a grace period through the end of 2021, giving customers time to enroll in payment assistance plans.

“Let me be perfectly clear: No one will face disconnection of their gas, electric, or water services before the end of the grace period on [Dec. 31],” Murphy said. “Households with residential internet service accounts currently being used by school-aged children for educational purposes will also be protected from disconnection.”

Murphy said the order is consistent with legislation that allowed the public health emergency to end. The law included several executive orders, including the utility shutoff moratorium, to remain in effect until Jan. 1, 2022, according to the governor.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to work with their utility provider on payment options that will ensure these vital – and in some cases, life-preserving – services are maintained. We fully expect every utility provider to work with their customers in good faith,” Murphy added.

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