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New Jersey SHARES Approved to Distribute Assistance Funds to Households

Hightstown, NJ — March 20, 2001 — New Jersey Statewide Heating Assistance and Referral for Energy Services (SHARES) was authorized by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to be the program to distribute grants to residents of New Jersey for natural gas and electric utility bills. The grants resulted from the passage of legislation that Acting Governor DiFrancesco signed into law on February 2, 2001. The increase in New Jersey sales tax revenue attributed to rising natural gas prices is the source of funds for the grants.

"This is indeed welcomed news which enables New Jersey SHARES to help more families who are overwhelmed by higher utility bills," said Larry Savitsky, New Jersey SHARES Executive Director. "Under the BPU approved guidelines, New Jersey SHARES will now be able to increase grant limit for natural gas assistance from $250 to $750 and temporary financial help is expanded to assist families receiving aid from Temporary Assistance to Needy Families ("TANF") and General Assistance."

Grants will be distributed through a network of 60 intake sites serving all counties of New Jersey. All sites are listed on the toll free number, 1-866-NJSHARES. Customers of all New Jersey's major electric and natural gas companies are eligible including Public Service Electric and Gas, NUI/Elizabethtown Gas, Rockland Electric, South Jersey Gas, GPU Energy, Conectiv, and New Jersey Natural.

New Jersey SHARES is a statewide, non-profit energy 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, five non-profit agencies and several at large members.

For more information on New Jersey SHARES, please contact Lawrence P. Savitsky, Executive Director at 908-979-3377.

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