NJUA PRESIDENT CHURCHELOW STATEMENT ON UTILITY SHUTOFF MORATORIUM EXTENSION
Trenton — New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA) President Tom Churchelow issued the following statement today regarding the extension from March 15 to June 30 of a statewide moratorium on utility services shutoffs:
“We recognize that many New Jersey residents are hurting from the impact of COVID-19. For the last year, our member organizations have taken numerous steps to support their customers – from PPE donations to significantly increased charitable giving to volunteering use of company facilities as field hospitals – in order to help them get through these trying times. While we disagree with an extension, we will continue to work with the Murphy Administration throughout this process.
“That said, at some point the moratorium will end and it is clear that we need a plan to resolve past due utility bills so that we can increase focus on customers who are truly in need. The NJUA agrees with the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel that these dollar amounts are too large for customers or utilities to just absorb. We need to examine arrearage forgiveness through expansion of the Universal Service Fund and we respectfully recommend that the state consider putting more dollars into customer assistance programs. Being prepared with a plan now will help alleviate any potential problems once the moratorium is over.”
The New Jersey Utilities Association is the statewide trade association for investor-owned utilities that provide essential water, wastewater, electric, natural gas and telecommunications services to New Jersey residents and businesses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. NJUA has provided a forum for the exchange of ideas and a unified voice in the public policy arena for its members since 1915. For further information on NJUA, please visit www.njua.com or follow us on Twitter @NJUtilities.