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9/28/2012

You are receiving Sharing Neighborhoods as a registered subscriber. Sharing Neighborhoods is a publication of New Jersey SHARES, on the web at www.NJSHARES.org.

What's New

2012 ENERGY ASSISTANCE SAFTEY NET UPDATES

LIHEAP to Open on October 1st; Cap Set at 200% FPL.

This year the State will open the Federally funded, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) a month earlier than previous years, giving vulnerable residents an early opportunity to apply for this vital resource. LIHEAP is a seasonal program designed to help low-income families and individuals meet home heating and medically necessary cooling costs.

Universal Service Fund Serves Our Most Vulnerable Neighbors

The 2012 LIHEAP application is also an application for the Universal Service Fund (USF). USF is a New Jersey program that makes natural gas and electric bills more affordable for low-income households. To be eligible, a household must have income at or below 175% of FPL, and pay more than 3% of its annual income for electric, or more than 3% for natural gas. If a household has electric heat, it must spend more than 6% of its annual income on electricity to be eligible.

Fresh Start is a component of the USF program and possibly the most valuable part for our clients. If a household is enrolled in the USF program, and is successful in meeting twelve of the required discounted payments within the first fifteen months of enrollment, the clientís past due balance will be forgiven Ė essentially creating a fresh start for clients. For further information on LIHEAP or USF, call 1-800-510-3102 or visit www.energyassistance.nj.gov.

NJ SHARES Helps Clients Who Cannot Receive Assistance From Other Programs

With the LIHEAP cap set at 200% of the FPL, NJ SHARES will assist households that have exhausted all other energy assistance options and whose pretax income is more than 200% and less than 400%. NJ SHARES expands the energy safety net to households who are working hard to make ends meet and are experiencing a temporary financial emergency resulting in the struggle to pay their energy bills.



Pictured from left to right are Jim Jacob, NJ SHARES' President; Alita Corbett, Atlantic City Electric's Community Relations Manager and Ken Mosca, Public Affairs Manager for ACE.

NJ SHARES Programs Showcased at Energy Events

In preparation for the Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program opening set for October 1, 2012, NJ SHARES joined with partner utility companies to present energy, water and telephone program information to a variety of audiences. New Jersey Natural Gas sponsored Energy Assistance days where qualifying customers could apply for the programs. PSE&G invited NJ SHARES to speak about our programs to the network of LIHEAP agencies statewide in a train-the-trainer format and NJ SHARES was able to present energy assistance information to a larger audience of community-based and government agencies at the Atlantic City Electric Energy Summit this month held in Atlantic City. Thanks to all of our partners and friends who aid us in creating awareness of energy affordability resources.

President's LETTER


The chill of Autumn in the air is a reminder of the wonderful season changes we experience in New Jersey. The arrival of colorful foliage, pumpkin crops and cooler breezes proves autumn is on its way and the cold months of winter are promised ahead.

In the energy assistance community, there is no better reminder of the season change than the opening of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) set for October 1, 2012. In just a few days, LIHEAP will open and NJ SHARES will ready itself for another heating season, helping those in crisis who do not qualify for LIHEAP and other assistance programs. To our agency partners, utility and energy company allies, supporters and friends, thank you in advance as we again gear up to ensure our New Jersey neighbors stay warm this heating season and avoid the tragedies associated with unsafe measures to light and heat their homes.

Warm regards,
Jim Jacob

Events

Senior Picnic Highlights NJ SHARES Programs

On September 12, NJ SHARES presented energy, telephone and water resources to 3,000 seniors at the Bergen County Picnic. The annual picnic is sponsored by the Bergen County Department of Human Services, Division of Senior Services. The event included entertainment, a craft fair, demonstrations, information and complimentary lunch. NJ SHARES gave out energy saving tip booklets and draft stoppers to help the seniors prepare for the Autumn and Winter seasons.


South River Assisted Living Residents Gain Program Insights

NJ SHARES presented information to the National Church Residences - Assisted Living residents in South River. The presentation and conversations surrounded the Communications Lifeline and Universal Service Programs available to the residents. Both Verizonís Communication Lifeline Program and the Stateís Universal Service Fund Program provide discounted rates on telephone and energy bills which are vital to this populationís affordability needs.

Agency Toolbox


All intake agency partners will be issued updated energy packets with the new income charts through the intake agency system email. The materials will be effective October 1, 2012.

Our agency partners can find this information on the agency-only access Welcome Screen on October 1, 2012.

Questions can be directed to outreach@njshares.org.

ACE's Energy SAving Tips


It is possible to save 10 percent or more in annual energy costs just by testing windows and doors for air tightness and adding weather stripping and caulk where necessary.

New Jersey SHARES | www.njshares.org
1901 North Olden Avenue Extention Suite 1-A | Ewing, NJ 08618-2111
Phone: 609-883-1626 | Toll Free: 866-657-4273 | Fax: 609-883-6364 | Email info@njshares.org
Copyright 2013, NJ SHARES.
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Phone: 609-883-1626 | Toll Free: 866-657-4273 | Fax: 609-883-6364 | Email info@njshares.org
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