Universal Service Fund (USF)


USF is a program created by the State of New Jersey to help make natural gas and electric bills more affordable for low-income households. If you are eligible, USF can lower the amount you pay for gas and electricity.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • To be eligible, a household gross income must be at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Level, and pay more than 3% of its annual income for electric, or more than 3% for natural gas. If a household has electric heat, it must spend more than 6% of its annual income on electricity to be eligible.

USF Monthly Pre-tax Income Limits 10/1/2016—09/30/2017

Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Monthly Pre-tax Income $ 1,733 2,337 2,940 3,554 4,148 4,752 5,357 5,964 6,570 7,177 7,784 8,390

Note: To determine eligibility for household sizes greater than 12, add $606 for each additional member.

Important Facts

  • The amount of the USF heating benefit is determined by income, household size, fuel type, and heating region.
  • The medically necessary cooling assistance benefit is set at $200, which does not affect the USF assistance.
  • An eligible household that heats with natural gas or electricity will have its benefits directly forwarded to its utility company.
  • In some cases eligible households directly responsible to a fuel supplier for payment of home heating costs may receive a two-party check in the name of the applicant and the fuel supplier.
  • Households whose heating costs are included in their rent receive a single party check made out to the eligible applicant. A household receiving medically necessary cooling benefits also receives a single party check when there is no electric utility account present.
  • The 2016-2017  USF application is also an application for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). You apply for two benefit programs at the same time using one application


The 2016-17 Energy Season began October 1st, 2016.

Hours of Operation

317 Roseville Avenue, Newark, NJ 07107

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday (9 am – 4pm)
  • Wednesday (9 am – 6 pm)
  • Closed on Fridays and last week of each month
  • Saturday Hours: 9am-1pm, one Saturday each month from Oct – May

Participants should anticipate a 2-hour waiting period.

III. 600 Central Avenue, East Orange, NJ

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays (9am – 4pm)

Wednesdays (9am – 6pm)

Closed on Fridays and last week of each month

Clients should anticipate a two hour wait.


Satellite Offices

I. PSE&G, Newark

80 Park Plaza, Newark, NJ

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday (8:30am -4pm)

No telephone calls accepted at this location. Limited to 50 clients per day-First come, first serve basis. Must bring your own copies.

II. PSE&G, West Orange

59 Main Street, West Orange, NJ

Monday, Wednesday, Friday (8:30am – 4pm)

No telephone calls accepted at this location.  Limited to 50 clients per day-First come, first serve basis. Must bring your own copies.

Please note that these hours are only valid during each program season from October 3rd to April 30th of each year. The locations remain the same unless otherwise noted.

Drop Boxes

Application Drop boxes are located at each of location and may be accessed by all, during normal agency business hours even when we are not open for intake.

Drop boxes at Home Energy Centers are available from 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday.

Holiday Closures

All Home Energy Centers will be closed on the following holidays:

Monday,  October 10, 2016, Columbus Day
Friday, November 11, 2016, Veterans Day
Thursday, November 24, 2016, Thanksgiving Day
Friday, November 25, 2016, Day after Thanksgiving

Monday, December 26, 2016, Day after Christmas

Monday, January 2, 2017 New Years Day
Monday, January 16, 2017, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, February 20, 2017, Presidents Day
Friday, April 14, 2017, Good Friday
Monday, May 29, 2017 Memorial Day

9am-12noon  hours: Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Related Forms

Low Income Energy Assistance Program Fact Sheet 2017

LIHEAP Office Hours & Holiday Closings

Zero Income Statement DCA

2017 USFHEA Application

Tenant Homeowner Verification Form DCA

Monthly Expenses Form DCA

Dr’s Cooling Certification


© La Casa de Don Pedro 2017 Home Press Employment Site Credits La Casa Staff EmailMailing ListTwitterYouTubeFacebookLinkedInNeighborWorks