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Residents who find it difficult to pay for heating are encouraged to apply for help Video

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New Jersey residents may be forced to dig deeper to keep their homes warm this winter. In September, state regulators approved rate hikes for several gas suppliers that say they have faced rising energy costs because of the war in Ukraine and increased demand. And with nearly 1 million residents already behind on bills due to the pandemic, there are concerns that the higher costs will push even more people into debt.

State officials want residents to know that help is available — such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP. “The good news this year is that the income limits have been raised, so people who may not have been eligible in the past and who may not have needed help in the past but need it this year , will be eligible now,” Janelle Winter said. , Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Population Affairs. “It’s important to know that it doesn’t happen automatically. You must apply and qualify.”

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