Maryland residents may apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides grants in varying amounts based on a household’s income size, type of fuel, and type of dwelling with no pay back required. Maryland customers may apply for LIHEAP energy assistance through the Department of Human Services, by visiting a Local Energy Assistance Office, or by calling the Maryland Department of Human Services Office of Home Energy Programs at 1-800-332-6347.
Other programs supporting Maryland customers include:
The Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP) helps eligible customers pay for a portion of their current electric bill. The Arrearage Retirement Assistance (ARA) program helps customers with large, past due electric and gas bills. If eligible, customers may receive forgiveness of up to $2,000 towards their past due bill. The Utility Service Protection Program (USPP) is designed to help low-income families during the heating season. Information regarding these programs can be found on the Maryland Department of Human Services Office of Home Energy Programs website or by calling 1-800-332-6347.
Prince George’s County residents may qualify for energy assistance from Mary’s Center by calling 202-545-2024.
Pepco customers with a disconnection notice or who currently have a service disconnected can receive a grant up to $1,000 once a year through the Pepco Washington Area Fuel Fund Partnership administered by the Salvation Army. Prince George’s County residents can call 301-277-6103 for assistance.
Pepco will work with customers who may have difficulty paying their energy bill. The company offers payment options, like Budget Billing, which averages payments over a 12-month period, to help customers manage their monthly energy bill, or flexible payment arrangements that offer individually tailored payment installment plans.
Customers can contact Pepco Customer Care at 202-833-7500 to ask about available resources or register for My Account, a web-based interactive tool that provides customers with a detailed analysis of their specific electric use and offers ways to save money and energy.
In addition to providing additional resources and programs aimed at alleviating the burden on residents affected by the shutdown, Pepco will match United Way’s $50,000 Emergency Assistance Fund amount offered to increased assistance capacity to organizations like the Capital Area Food Bank, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington and Northern Virginia Family Services.
BGE offers payment options, such as budget billing, which averages payments out over a 12-month period to help customers manage their monthly energy bill, and flexible payment arrangements including individually tailored payment installment plans. Customers who may be challenged to pay their BGE bill should contact BGE as soon as possible at 800.685.0123.
Customers may also register for My Account, a web-based interactive tool that provides customers with a detailed analysis of their specific energy use and offers ways to save money and energy. Customers can visit BGE to learn more about these programs.
BGE customers can apply for energy assistance through the Maryland Department of Human Services, by visiting a Local Energy Assistance Office, or by calling the Office of Home Energy Programs at 1-800-332-6347. Download our Community Resource Guide for a complete list of resources.
As the shutdown of the Federal Government continues, Washington Gas announced Tuesday that it will offer flexible payment arrangements for government employees directly impacted.
“We recognize that federal government employees may be in a challenging financial position as the shutdown continues,” said Adrian Chapman, President and CEO of Washington Gas and WGL. “We will work with affected employees so that they continue to receive their natural gas service without interruption.”
Washington Gas makes several payment plans and services available to customers who may have difficulty paying their bills. Customers should contact Washington Gas customer service representatives at 1-844-WASHGAS to discuss their individual situations. Plans to assist customers include:
- The Washington Gas Budget Plan: This plan allows eligible customers to spread the cost of winter heating over the entire year. It helps to minimize the impact of typically higher seasonal bills and provides greater flexibility in managing a household budget. The Budget Plan is designed as a 12-month program, and we encourage customers to stay on it year-round to realize the potential benefits.
- Payment Deferments: Washington Gas will work with all eligible customers who cannot pay the “past due bill amount” as well as the “current charges” on their gas bill, by offering deferred payment arrangements upon request by the customer. Washington Gas will comply with all applicable laws, tariff regulations and orders of its regulators when extending payment deferments to customers who show a willingness to pay past due amounts. The deferred payment agreement Washington Gas may enter into with its customers prevents further credit action on the account, including the assessment of late charges, mailed reminder and/or turn off notices, and collection calls, as long as the customer abides by the agreement.
- The Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF): Founded by Washington Gas and administered by The Salvation Army, WAFF helps families who do not qualify for, or who have exhausted, government energy assistance. WAFF provides funds for all types of fuel to heat families' homes during the winter heating season. Through its merger with AltaGas, Washington Gas has increased its funding to WAFF and broadened WAFF’s eligibility beyond low-income customers. For example, a family of four earning $75,050 could qualify for assistance. WAFF also accepts donations to assist neighbors in need. Every dollar donated to WAFF goes directly to those who need assistance because Washington Gas pays the administrative fees of the fund. For more information or to apply for assistance, contact The Salvation Army at 888-318-WAFF (9233) or visit http://washingtonareafuelfund.org/. Donations can also be made at this website.
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)
To assist federal workers struggling to make ends meet as the government shutdown hits 19 days, WSSC will suspend all water service shutoffs to ensure safe, clean water continues to flow to customer’s homes. Additionally, the state’s largest water utility serving 1.8 million residents in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties will delay bill payments, waive all late fees, and work one-on-one with customers impacted by the shutdown to establish convenient payment plans.
In addition to these new assistance measures targeted to customers impacted by the federal shutdown, WSSC offers a variety of affordability programs to help customers in need. Customers are encouraged to contact WSSC and speak with a representative at 301-206-4001 or 1-800-828-6439 to discuss their specific situation. Existing customer affordability programs include:
The Water Fund
The Water Fund provides a maximum of $300 annually to help residential customers who are experiencing financial hardship pay their WSSC bills. The Salvation Army in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties administers The Water Fund. For more information: https://www.wsscwater.com/iep.
Customers already enrolled in the Office of Home Energy Program (OHEP) qualify for CAP, which waives the Account Maintenance and Infrastructure Investment fees. Customers only pay for their water and sewer usage. For more information: www.wsscwater.com/cap.
The Bay Restoration Fund Financial Hardship Exemption Program
This program waives the state-mandated Bay Restoration Fee. To qualify for the exemption, customers must be certified by OHEP or meet certain criteria. If you qualify for WSSC’s CAP program, you automatically qualify for this exemption. For more information: www.wsscwater.com/bayexempt.
HomeServe Cares is a fund administered by HomeServe USA to aid qualifying WSSC customers faced with a plumbing emergency who do not have a HomeServe service plan or the necessary funds to cover emergency home repairs. Under the program, emergency repairs are made at no cost to the homeowner. For more information: www.wsscwater.com/homeserve.