The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities says you can save money and energy this winter.

To that end, it's launched the "Lighting the Way to a Clean Energy Future" campaign. BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said a lot of residents in the state who may be unemployed for the first time in the COVID-19 pandemic in their lives may not realize that there are programs to help them get by.

Fiordaliso said in addition to taking advantage of assistance programs, consumers can call their utilities to set up payment plans. A state moratorium on utility shutoffs remains in effect, but Fiordaliso said he does not want to see ratepayers finding out they owe a lot of money once the moratorium passes.

Fiordaliso said New Jersey has one of the most aggressive energy efficiency programs in the United States. The cheapest energy is the energy that's not used.

With winter coming and heating costs rising, that's an important concept, he said. Energy saving can mean something as simple as turning the thermostat down one degree. Putting in LED lights can help save money. Making sure windows are caulked properly so cold, winter air is not seeping through helps as well.

Fiordaliso said residents can receive rebates when they purchase Energy Star-certified models of washers, dryers, refrigerators, water heaters and heating systems.

The Comfort Partners program helps low-income residents in New Jersey reduce their utility bills by implementing cost-effective measures, at no cost to them, that save energy while improving a home's comfort. Applicants may receive, at no cost, energy-efficient lighting products, water heater insulation, replacement refrigerators or other benefits.

Fiordaliso also said residents who live in an Urban Enterprise Zone may be eligible for bonus incentives for installing energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment.

More on these programs and incentives is at njcleanenergy.com.

"There's nobody in the state of New Jersey that should be put in the position — nobody- — where they have to decide whether to heat the home or eat. That's not what New Jersey is about. That's not what America is about," Fiordaliso said.