Dreams Do Come True
On December 13, 1992 I wished there was someplace to refer families when no other resources were available to help with energy bills. Little did I know then that it would lead to the creation of New Jersey SHARES, a statewide energy nonprofit organization.
Today, I need your help to keep my dream alive and to help New Jersey families stay warm. On February 1 & 2, 2018 NJ SHARES will be holding an event "Cool Down for Warmth" to both raise funds and to make our mission better known in our state of New Jersey.
We're building an Ice House - yes, an ICE HOUSE - in Newark to highlight the critical importance of heat during the cold winter months.
You can help by making a donation. The average grant needed to restore/maintain utility service is about $400. Your donation makes a difference and may be eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by your utility company. So if you can give $50, it will have the impact of $100.
Visit my fundraising page, Michael Swayze's Ice House Challenge. Thank you.
For more information on becoming involved, visit NJ SHARES Cool Down for Warmth Fundraising page.
Winter Utility Service Termination Protection Program Begins November 15
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has announced the resumption of the Winter Termination Program which protects low and moderate income households from electric and gas termination, if they participate in certain energy programs. The program is in effect from November 15 through March 15.
The Board indicated in their press release that information is also available on various energy assistance programs.
The November 14 press release reads as follows:
Today, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (Board) highlights that November 15th is the beginning of its annual Winter Termination Program (WTP), which protects residential customers of the regulated electric and natural gas utilities in the state, who qualify and enroll in the program, from having their natural gas and/or electric service turned off during the upcoming winter season.
“No one should fear or suffer the consequences from having their heat turned off in the dead of winter,” said Richard S. Mroz, N.J. Board of Public Utilities President. “The regulated utility companies want to work with their customers to ensure that they and their families can stay safe and warm during the winter. Yet it is important to stress that customers should make every effort to pay what they can during the winter months since their past due account balances come due once the Winter Termination Program ends. All too often, we see customers who experience financial hardship when the moratorium ends due to large balances owed. And if customers don’t satisfy their obligation, the utilities can turn off service after March 15.”
The Board’s program runs from November 15, 2017 through March 15, 2018. All customers who are eligible for the WTP are required to enroll in a 12-month budget payment plan with their utility. The utilities are required to consider the customer’s ability to pay when setting up a payment plan. Customers are further required to make good faith payments toward their budget plan. Although service cannot be terminated during this winter moratorium, customers remain liable for the balance of their utility bills once the WTP ends on March 15.
Customers who receive benefits from any one of the following programs are eligible to enroll and be protected by the Winter Termination Program: Lifeline Credit; Federal Home Energy Assistance; Work First New Jersey-Temporary Assistance to Needy Families; Federal Supplemental Security Income; Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled; Work First New Jersey/General Assistance Benefits; and the Universal Service Fund. The program is also available to customers who fall into a “catch-all” category of people who are unable to pay their utility bills because of circumstances beyond their control, such as unemployment, death of wage earner or illness. In addition to the WTP, eligible customers can seek utility bill assistance help from several other programs. Information about these programs can be accessed on the Board’s website at: www.bpu.state.nj.us/bpu/assistance/programs/.
Resisting Donald Trump
New Jersey's two Senators and twelve Representatives are:
- Robert Menendez - Democrat 202-224-4744
- Corey Booker - Democrat 202-224-3224
- Donald Norcross - Democrat - 1st District 202-225-6501
- Frank LoBiondo - Republican, 2nd District 202-225-6572
- Tom MacArthur - Republican, 3rd District 202-225-4765
- Chris Smith - Republican, 4th District 202-225-3765
- Josh Gottheimer - Democrat, 5th District 202-225-4465
- Frank Pallone, Jr. - Democrat, 6th District 202-225-4671
- Leonard Lance - Republican, 7th District 202-225-5361
- Albio Sires - Democrat, 8th District 202-225-7919
- Bill Pascrell - Democrat, 9th District 202-225-5751
- Donald Payne, Jr. - Democrat, 10th District 202-225-3436
- Rodney Frelinghuysen - Republican, 11th District 202-225-5034
- Bonnie Watson Coleman - Democrat, 12th District 202-225-5801
You can also access this list online by visiting the House Of Representatives Directory of Representatives.