For the fifth winter season, Mays Landing-based Atlantic City Electric is offering a gift-giving program that allows people to help others pay their electricity bills.

Individuals donated nearly $31,000 in utility bills for friends, neighbors and colleagues during the first four seasons, utility spokesman Frank Tedesco said in an email.

The current Gift of Energy Program started Nov. 26 and runs through Jan. 15.

The gift certificate program was the most popular during its first winter season — 2008-09 — when gift givers purchased $10,002 in electric bill credits for others, according to figures from Atlantic City Electric.

The value of the gifts dropped to $4,211 the next season and then picked up to $9,697 the winter season of 2010-11.

Last year, the Gift of Energy brought $6,927 in donations, the company reported.

Tedesco said the utility does not yet have an estimate on how the program is faring this year.

Unlike in previous years, consumers can now purchase the utility-bill donations for others on Atlantic City Electric’s website, www.atlanticcityelectric.com.

They can also be purchased at Atlantic City Electric courtesy centers at:

n 2430 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City

n 420 Route 9, Cape May Court House

n 1101 Route 47 (Delsea Drive), Millville

n 6814 Tilton Road, Egg Harbor Township

n 5101 & Route 42, Turnersville

Purchasers should have the name and address of the recipient.

Contact Brian Ianieri:

609-272-7253