Marylanders struggling with past due water bills will soon find relief thanks to a new $20 million relief program.
Governor Larry Hogan recently announced a $20 million Water Assistance Relief Program that will support residents with water bill debt related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the press release:
“We continue to provide ways—especially during the winter months—to help residents who may have difficulty with their water or heating bills,” said Governor Hogan. “Water systems are encouraged to apply for this funding to ensure savings for customers in the coming months.”
As a condition of receiving program funding, water systems must agree to allocate payments as bill credits to customer accounts within a specific number of days after receiving payment, and waive late fees and interest penalties. The credits will cover outstanding water debt from residential customers that was accrued between January 2020 and September 2022.
The application period for water systems to apply for funding will begin next Monday, January 2, 2023, and will remain open until Tuesday, January 31, 2023.
In addition, programs are available year-round through the Maryland Department of Human Services’ Office of Home Energy Programs to help with utility bills and prevent any loss of service, including the Maryland Energy Assistance Program, the Electric Universal Service Program, and the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program.
The funding for this program will be allocated from federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF.)