Office of People’s Counsel Provides Info on Assistance Programs as End to Utility Shutoff Moratorium Nears

While the moratorium on terminating residential gas, water, and electric services is set to end on November 15 in Maryland, utilities are authorized to begin sending out termination notices on October 1 — 45 days before the end of the moratorium. 

The Office of People’s Counsel has sent out information strongly encouraging anyone who may be eligible for assistance to apply now and not wait for a turn-off notice.

A message sent from the Office of People’s Counsel provides information on assistance programs including the Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP).

From the Office of Home Energy Programs website:

The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) provides bill assistance to low-income households in the State of Maryland to make their energy costs more affordable and to help with the prevention of loss and the restoration of home energy service.

Energy assistance will not reduce the amount of any other public assistance benefits you receive, such as TCA or Food Stamps. Nor will it reduce Social Security benefits.

The message from the Office of People’s Counsel also highlights the Fuel Fund of Maryland as an additional source of assistance for eligible consumers:

Another resource that may be available to eligible consumers is the Fuel Fund of Maryland. The Fuel Fund of Maryland assists income eligible BGE customers with paying their utility bills after they complete OHEP. They have recently instituted some new rules that impact process and eligibility to effectively respond to the end of the utility moratorium.

1.      Waived the need for a turn off notice through 12/31/2020.

2.      Waived the need for seniors (age 60+) to complete OHEP before getting assistance from the Fuel Fund of Maryland. They will mail the consumer an OHEP application as needed.

For information about how the Fuel Fund of Maryland helps withbulk fuel assistance for the entire state, see the attachment. For more information about the Fuel Fund or to apply for help, visit their website to fill out an application or call 410-235-9080 for assistance.

Visit the Community Resource Guides on the Office of People’s Counsel’s website for more information.

For more information:

Maryland Office of People’s Counsel (OPC) Important Alert Moratorium on Utility Shut-Offs, Bill Assistance, and Deferred Payment Plans

Office of Home Energy Programs Brochure

Office Of Home Energy Programs Energy Assistance Application

Fuel Fund of Maryland (FFM) Bulk Fuel Information Sheet