The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has established the following customer rights regarding utility billing and service:
- You have the right to utility service if you are a qualified applicant.
- You shall not be asked to pay unreasonably high deposits as a condition of service, or to make unreasonable payments on past-due bills.
- You have the right to budget billing or payment plans if you are an electric or natural gas customer.
- You are entitled to at least one deferred payment plan each year.
- You have the right to have any complaint against your utility handled promptly by that utility.
- You have the right to call upon the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to investigate your utility complaints and inquiries. Your service may not be terminated for nonpayment of disputed charges during a BPU investigation.
- If you suspect your meter is not working properly, you have the right to have it tested, free of charge, once a year by your utility. For a $5 fee, the meter test will be conducted under the supervision of the staff of the BPU.
- You have the right to a written notice of termination, 10 days prior to discontinuance of service.
- Residential service may be shut off, after proper notice, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A utility may not shut off residential service involuntarily on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday or the day before a holiday, or if a valid medical emergency exists in your household.
- Winter Termination Program -- If you are an elderly or low-income customer having financial problems paying your bill, you should request the company to enroll you in a budget plan in accordance with your ability to pay. You are required to make good faith payments of all reasonable bills for service and in return are assured of the right to have natural gas and electric utility services from November 15 to March 15 without fear of termination of such services. Please contact your utility to ensure you are protected under this category.
- If you live in a multifamily dwelling, you have the right to receive a posted notice of any impending shut-off. This notice must be posted in a common area and/or sent individually to occupants.
- You have the right to have a "diversion of service" investigation if you suspect that the level of consumption reflected in your utility bill is unexplainably high.
- Service shall not be shut off for nonpayment of repair or merchandise charges, nor shall notice threatening such discontinuance be given.
- You have the option of having a deposit refund applied to your account as a credit or of having the deposit refunded by separate check.
If you have any questions about your rights as a customer, please call Customer Services at 800-221-0051 or the BPU at 800-624-0241. When calling the BPU from out of state, dial 609-341-9188.