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New Jersey SHARES program.

The New Jersey Statewide Heating Assistance and Referral for Energy Services, also known as the New Jersey SHARES program, is a nonprofit organization that has sets as its primary goal the mission to provide assistance to families and individuals who live in New Jersey. They will provide assistance to those who are in need of short term help in paying their utility bills.

The program runs year round. The NJ SHARES energy assistance program have provided help to thousands of households who do not qualify for any state or federal programs. there are some income limits as well, and the households income can’t exceed 400 percent of the federal government poverty level. Each applicant to the program will need to fill out an electronic application, and they need to complete it with the assistance of a local community- based organization or action agency. Eligibility to the program is determined by total household income as well as household size. As mentioned above, one of the great benefits is that New Jersey SHARES grants are distributed year-round based on funding availability and there is not a short term “window”  to apply like other programs.

Many utility companies donate funds to the program, and the money is then passed to people who need help. For example, South Jersey Gas (SJG) has donated $100,000 in 2009 to the NJ SHARES to provide energy bill assistance to New Jersey households. New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) also donated around $100,000 in 2009, and the funds are immediately available to distribute to people who need assistance.

The main goal of the NJ SHARES program is to assist our New Jersey neighbors who have fallen behind on their heating or energy bills due to a temporary financial crisis.

After applying and upon approval from the organization, a household or an individual can receive a one-time grant of up to $700 on the heating source and up to $300 on the electric account, and the grants are to help pay the bills. Energy grants are applied directly to the bill and are not giving directly to the applicant.

Eligibility for the program is based on someone having a demonstrated financial crisis, household income, and a history of good-faith utility bill payments, and the program is providing relief to those who otherwise would have no means of assistance.

To apply for the NJ SHARES program, call 1-866-NJSHARES to learn more.






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