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 2018-2019

Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Monthly Pre-tax Income $  $1771 $2401 $3031 $3661 $4291 $4921 $5551 $6181 $6811 $7441 $8071 $8701

Note: To determine eligibility for household sizes greater than 12, add $630 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 2018-9  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

Energy Season Home Energy Assistance Center Locations and Hours

317 Roseville Avenue (located in lower-level in rear of building)

Newark, New Jersey 07107

973-485-0795 or 973-485-0796

Intake Hours: Effective October 2, 2017

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.  Center closes at 5pm.
  • Wednesday: 9:00 am – 6:00pm
  • Closed Fridays and the last full week of each month for data processing and outreach
  • Early closure at 12noon on Wednesday, November 21st.

An application drop box is accessible during normal agency business hours even when the center is not open for intake.

PSE&G Customer Service Centers

80 Park Place, Newark NJ 07102

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

59 Main Street, West Orange NJ 07052

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Both centeres are closed the last full week of every month for data processing.

Drop boxes at PSE&G Customer Service Centers are available from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm Monday – Friday.

Maximum of 50 clients per day. You must bring your own copies of all required documentation.

For assistance with LIHEAP / USF programs call 973-485-0795 or 973-485-0796.

Holiday Closures

All Home Energy Centers are closed on the following holidays:

Monday, October 8, 2018 for Columbus Day

Monday, November 12th, 2018 for Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 21nd, 2018, the center closes at 12noon

Thursday, November 22rd, 2018 for Thanksgiving day

Friday, November 23th, 2018 for the Day After Thanksgiving

Monday, December 24, 2018 for Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018 for Christmas Day

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 for New Year’s Day

Monday, January 21th, 2019 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday, February 18, 2019 for President’s Day

Friday, April 19, 2019 for Good Friday

Monday. May 27, 2019 for Memorial Day.


Additional Related Forms

LIHEAP Office Hours & Holiday Closings

Frequently Asked Questions

Tenant Homeowner Verification Form DCA

Monthly Expenses Form DCA

Dr’s Cooling Certification




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