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New Jersey SHARES Distributes More Than Eight Million Dollars To Assist The Needy With Their Energy Bills

Hightstown, NJ — February 6, 2002 — New Jersey Statewide Heating Assistance and Referral for Energy Services (New Jersey SHARES) has assisted more individuals and families in 2001 than it has in all of its three previous years of operation. More than 25,000 families received New Jersey SHARES grants totaling more than $8.2 million in 2001. In the previous three years, 1998 to 2000, a total of $1.83 million aided approximately 8000 families.

This year, New Jersey SHARES has been able to assist a greater number of families thanks to legislation that was signed by former Governors Whitman and DiFrancesco. This legislation, approved unanimously by all then members of the New Jersey Senate and Assembly, provided New Jersey SHARES with a annual percentage of unclaimed utility deposits plus one-time proceeds from excess natural gas sales taxes in the year 2001 state fiscal year. Both funds were administered at the state level by the Board of Public Utilities. These legislated funds also supplemented an increase in contributions made by utility customers and matched by their utilities. "We have had some great accomplishments this past year, which enabled us to help more New Jersey residents who are struggling to pay their natural gas and electric bills," said Lawrence Savitsky, NJ SHARES' Executive Director.

New Jersey SHARES assists those people who do not otherwise qualify for utility bill payment assistance through traditional programs. Since there are no income guidelines for New Jersey SHARES, each benefit is determined by a local community based organization. New Jersey SHARES grants are distributed through 50 community based organizations serving all of New Jersey. New Jersey SHARES operates year round to meet New Jersey's community's needs.

New Jersey Statewide Heating Assistance and Referral for Energy Services is a statewide, non-profit fuel fund for individuals and families who need temporary help paying their electric and natural gas bills. The New Jersey SHARES Board consists of New Jersey's seven natural gas and electric utilities (Conectiv, NUI Elizabethtown Gas, GPU Energy, New Jersey Natural Gas, Rockland Electric, South Jersey Gas and Public Service Electric and Gas). Verizon, Michael Swayze of Montclair, and six non-profit agencies including AARP, the Salvation Army, Association for Children of New Jersey, New Jersey Community Action Agencies, Catholic Charities and the Community Health Law Project.


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