New Jersey extends moratorium on utility shutoffs as July bills skyrocket

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By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and utility companies have agreed to hold off on disconnecting services until at least October 15 for people unable to pay their bills during the pandemic.

July was one of the hottest months on record, and with people either working from home or not working at all, air conditioners were running nonstop. 

That led to a huge spike in electric bills for some, which added an unexpected gut punch to budgets that were already spread thin, with a lot of people seeing July bills totaling $300-400, or more, from PSE&G.

Fred Daum, the agency's executive director of customer operations, said to call them if you don't know what to do about your bill.

"We have a program now where you can enter into a 24-month deferred payment arrangement," he explained. "It's no money down and no interest."

PSE&G also has a balanced billing program which calculates a monthly average and spreads it out evenly over 12 months instead of having large bills in peak months.

The utility company is also offering up to $250 to cover costs of spoiled food for people who lost power for extended periods of time as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias.