State residents struggling to pay their utilities got another five-month reprieve.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Thursday that pushes back the moratorium on utility shutoff until March 15.
Utility companies have not been allowed to shut off service to customers during the pandemic, but that was set to end Thursday.
If service has been disconnected, it must be restored under the governor’s order.
The new date gives customers extra time to work out payment plans without risk of losing their electric, gas or water.
“Only 15 percent of customers who are behind on their bills have contacted us and established payment arrangements,” Atlantic City Electric said after the governor’s announcement Thursday. “Tens of millions of dollars in energy assistance also remains available to assist customers.”
Customers can establish payment arrangements via atlanticcityelectric.com/help or by calling 800-642-3780.
Internet and voice services also cannot be shut off through Nov. 15, under the order.
For households with school-age children who need internet for remote learning, the moratorium on those services is extended to March 15.
Cable providers must offer at least a 12-month repayment plan that would allow consumers to pay back what they owe over equal installments before disconnecting internet or voice services.