Filing a Complaint with NJ Board of Public Utilities
Consumers who have a complaint with their utility company should first contact the utility company directly to see if the issue can be resolved. Many utility companies offer programs and payment assistance plans to help you pay your bill.
- Atlantic City Electric: 800-642-3780
- Elizabethtown Gas: 800-242-5830
- Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L): 800-662-3115
- New Jersey Natural Gas: 800-221-0051
- Orange & Rockland: 877-434-4100
- PSE&G: 800-357-2262
If you feel that you are being unfairly treated, you may turn to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), a regulatory authority with a statutory mandate to ensure safe, adequate, and proper utility services at reasonable rates for customers in New Jersey.
Filing a Complaint
The BPU’s Division of Customer Assistance handles complaints as well as in-person office interviews and other information inquiries. Customers may contact the Division with complaints regarding service delays, lack of service, discontinuance of service, payment arrangements, high bills, deposit requests, and incurred or high rates.
Emergency assistance is available by calling 800-624-0241 for gas leaks, fallen wires, water main breaks, discontinuance of service, or any other situation that requires immediate action. In the event of an emergency (smelling gas), contact your provider and call 9-1-1.
File an Online Complaint
The Division of Customer Assistance reviews online complaints daily. Submit the online complaint form for:
File a Written Complaint
Please direct your written complaints to:
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Division of Customer Assistance
44 South Clinton Avenue (9th Floor)
PO Box 350
Trenton, NJ 08625-0350
Request a Formal Hearing
Under the Board's Rules of Practice, N.J.A.C. 14:1-1, et seq., you may file a petition which is a request for a formal hearing. Learn more on the formal hearing procedure.
Toll-Free Number for Utility Complaints: 800-624-0241 (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Out of State Callers: 609-341-9188
Office of Clean Energy: 866-657-6278
Cable Complaint: 800-624-0331
The following Utility Customer's Bill of Rights is a synopsis of the most frequently cited sections of the New Jersey Administrative Code Title 14, Chapter 3. The Utility Customer's Bill of Rights is not meant to replace the regulations contained in N.J.A.C. 14:3 but is intended to give the utility customer a concise plain language guide to the regulations. Any application of the Utility Customer's Bill of Rights must be consistent with the regulations as contained in N.J.A.C. 14:3.
Be a smart consumer, know your rights
- You have the right to utility service if you are a qualified applicant.
- You have the right to budget billing if you are a utility customer.
- You have the right to apply for utility assistance programs, which may include arrearage forgiveness. Learn more by calling your utility company or by calling 2-1-1. Information is also available online at nj211.org/utility-assistance-programs.
- If you are an electric or gas utility customer who did not participate in the Winter Termination Program (“WTP”), current law requires the utility company to offer you a deferred payment plan payable over a minimum of 12 months with no down payment, deposit, reconnection costs, interest, or penalties (“No Money Down Plan”) on any unpaid balances accrued prior to December 31, 2021 or longer if you meet the requirements of numbers 7 and 8 below. You have the right to 30 days to agree to the payment plan before the utility company may begin the collections process.
- If you are a water, sewer, or municipal electric utility customer or a WTP participant, current law requires the utility company to offer you a No Money Down Plan on any unpaid balances accrued prior to March 15, 2022 or longer if you meet the requirements of numbers 7 and 8 below. You have the right to 30 days to agree to the payment plan before the utility company may begin the collections process.
- If for any reason you are not eligible for a No Money Down Plan, you are entitled to a deferred payment agreement under BPU’s regulations (“DPA”). You have a right to at least one DPA within a 12-month period with a maximum down payment of 25 percent or less of your unpaid balance, unless current law states otherwise. The utility company shall offer you the same budget plan year, which will last 10, 11, or 12 months, except that the budget plan year for customers protected under the WTP shall be 12 months. Any deferred payment plan or agreement offered by the utility company to you must follow the current law and/or regulations of the BPU.
- If you submit an application to a State agency for utility bill aid, but still need to provide documents or take some other action requested in the application, you have the right to 60 days from the date you submitted your application to provide the documents and take the necessary steps to complete the application process. During this 60-day period, the utility company may not discontinue your service. These rights apply only if you submitted your application to the State agency before June 15, 2022.
- If you submit an application to a State agency for utility bill aid with all the necessary documentation, either at the time you submitted the application or within 60 days from the date you submitted your application, and there is no other action required by you to complete the application process, you are protected from discontinuance of service from the date you submitted your application until the date after a decision of eligibility has been made on your completed application. This right applies only if you submit your application to the State agency before June 15, 2022.
- If you are an electric, gas, water, and sewer utility customer whose service has been disconnected, but you can show you have applied to the Universal Service Fund, Low Income Home Energy Assistance, Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric, or Low Income Household Water Assistance for available benefits, the utility company must reconnect your service upon request and may not require a down payment, deposit, reconnection costs, interest, or penalties to do so.
- You have the right to have any complaint you make against your utility company handled promptly by that utility company.
- You have the right to have your utility complaints and concerns investigated. Your service may not be terminated for non-payment of disputed charges during a BPU investigation.
- You have the right to have your meter tested free of charge once a year by your utility company if you suspect it is not working properly. A customer may file an application with the BPU for the test to be conducted under the supervision of BPU staff.
- You have the right to a written notice of termination from your utility company at least 10 days prior to the discontinuance of service and only after the utility company has offered you a deferred payment plan based on current law and regulations of the BPU.
- If you are a participant in an energy assistance program or an electric, gas, water, and/or sewer utility customer having financial difficulties paying your bill, you can request the company enroll you in a budget plan based on your ability to pay. Provided you make good faith payments toward all reasonable bills for service, you have the right to electric, gas, water, and/or sewer utilities service from November 15 to March 15 without fear of termination of such services if you are a participant under the WTP.
- You have the right to receive posted notice of any impending shutoff if you live in a multi-family dwelling. This notice must be posted in a common area and/or sent individually to occupants of that dwelling.
- You have the right to have a "diversion of service" investigation if you suspect the level of consumption reflected in your utility bill is unexplainably high.
- Service may not be shut-off for non-payment of repair or merchandise charges. A utility company may not send you notice threatening discontinuance of your utility service based on these charges.
- You have the option of having a deposit refund applied to your account as a credit or having the deposit refunded by separate check.
- A utility may not add late fees, interest, or liens on your account for late payments.
- Your service may be shut-off only after proper notice has been given to you by the utility company and only on Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A utility may not shut-off your service on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, a holiday or the day before a holiday, or if a valid medical emergency exists in your household.
- You have the right to notification regarding any moratorium on rate increases.