Get Help Paying An Electric Bill
Do you need help paying your electric bill? There are several ways to get help, whether you have service from Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), Pepco or another utility.
Find help for a Maryland electric bill
211 Maryland is ready to help you find electric bill payment assistance. You have a number of options including:
- An income-eligible grant from the Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP)
- Fuel Fund
- Help from local charities or faith-based organizations
- Weatherization programs
So, how do you find help for your electric bill?
- Call 2-1-1.
- Search the 211 Maryland database for “Utility Assistance.”
- Learn about the best electric assistance programs for your financial situation below.
- Follow a step-by-step guide to apply for help.
We’ll also provide details for a number of programs below, including the information you need to apply for help today.
Home energy assistance programs
Maryland offers a number of income-eligible grants through the Office of Home Energy Programs or OHEP. When you fill out the energy assistance grant application, you’ll check off the box for the program that applies to your utility bill situation.
For electric bills, you can get help through the Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP). Eligible customers get financial assistance with a portion of their current electric bill. The money is paid directly to the electric company.
So, how do you qualify for the EUSP grant? It depends on your household income and electric use over the last 12 months.
EUSP customers are also put on a budget billing plan that spreads out yearly utility costs over a year. That way you pay a similar amount each month rather than significantly more from one month or one season to the next.
The Arrearage Retirement Assistance (ARA) grant can help if you have a past-due electric or gas bill in excess of $300. You only qualify for this once every seven years, with certain exceptions. This grant offers up to $2,000 toward a past due utility bill.
To get an ARA grant, you must be eligible for a EUSP grant.
You may also be eligible for the Maryland Energy Assistance Program or MEAP grant if you heat your home with electricity.
Before you apply for one of these programs, understand the guidelines and application process. You’ll need a number of documents verifying your identity, residency, and income.
The Maryland Office of People's Counsel explains how to fill out the energy assistance application the right way. They point out that the grant section can be tricky. So, read everything carefully.
Ready to apply for energy help? Make sure you understand how the application works, common mistakes and all the documents you'll need to upload if you apply online. Follow a step by step plan when applying for energy assistance. If you're ready to fill out an online application, start now.
Maryland Energy assistance programs
Energy assistance programs can help keep your home cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter by preventing inside air from escaping and outside air from coming inside your house.
That way you’re not throwing money out the window when you turn on your heating and cooling system.
Do you have a turn-off notice? You can still apply for assistance through OHEP. Remember, there are income qualifications.
If the grant doesn’t cover the full amount of your past-due bill, you may be able to get financial assistance from another organization.
A 12-month payment plan is also an option. Set this up directly with your utility company.
Utility company help
Always contact your utility company when you need additional assistance with your bill to see what options are available in your local area. For example, Pepco offers a $1,000 grant for households with a disconnect notice. It's available through the Pepco Washington Area Fuel Fund Partnership, administered by the Salvation Army. In Prince George's County, call 301-277-6103. In Montgomery County, call 301-515-5354 for help.
211 Maryland is also available 24/7/365 to guide you through utility assistance for your electric bill. Dial 2-1-1.