Danish offshore wind company Ørsted, and New Jersey SHARES, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization providing statewide help, guidance and referral for essential services to New Jersey residents in need of temporary assistance, on Wednesday announced they partnered to develop and launch a new emergency assistance program for electric customers in Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties.
Funded through a two-year, $200,000 grant from Ørsted, the developer of Ocean Wind, New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm to be built 15 miles off the southern New Jersey coastline, Ørsted CARES, (Customer Assistance & Response to Emergency Situations), provides financial assistance for electric customers facing a financial crisis.
The program offers grants of up to $200 to eligible residents twice a year toward the payment of electric service for households that have limited income.
To qualify for Ørsted CARES, applicants must first meet the following eligibility requirements: reside in Atlantic, Cape May or Ocean counties; have arrears on their electric bill; have an active residential electric account; and have an income level that does not exceed 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
This is $51,040 for a household of one; $68,960 for two; $86,880 for three; $104,800 for four; $122,720 for five; $140,640 for six; $158,560 for seven; $176,480 for eight; $194,400 for nine; and $212,320 for 10. Incomes must be less than these figures, Monica Grybowski, the director of finance and administration for New Jersey SHARES, told NJBIZ.
Eligible electric customers can submit applications for Ørsted CARES beginning March 1 online at www.njsharesgreen.org or by visiting one of NJ SHARES’ partner agencies in Atlantic, Cape May or Ocean counties, calling 1-866-700-2332 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those interested in learning more about the program and its qualifications are encouraged to contact NJ SHARES, program administrator, at 1-866-700-2332 or online at email@example.com.
Orsted did not answer questions by press time.