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.
OHEP provides three separate grants:
The Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) provides assistance grants to help with home heating bills. Payments are made to the fuel supplier and utility company on the customer’s behalf.
The Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP) provides financial assistance with electric bills. Eligible customers receive help that pays a portion of their current electric bills. Some EUSP participants may qualify for assistance with past due electric bills as well as referrals to energy efficiency programs. Customers who receive EUSP are placed on a budget billing plan with their utility company.
Arrearage Retirement Assistance helps customers that have a large, past due electric bill, in addition to the electric and heating bill payment benefits. If eligible, customers receive forgiveness of up to $2,000 towards their past due bill, based off their actual bill amount. Customers must have a past due bill of $300 or greater to be considered eligible. Customers may only receive an arrearage grant once every seven years, with certain exceptions.
Other OHEP services:
Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Services – customer information is referred to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for programs that can provide improvements and repairs to homes at no cost. These improvements can help lower utility bills and make the home more comfortable. DHCD’s energy efficiency and weatherization programs support the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act.
Supplemental Targeted Energy Program (STEP) – OHEP is excited to announce its new Supplemental Targeted Energy Program (STEP). Local social service agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations involved in low-income home energy programs are encouraged to complete the Readiness Assessment as we prepare to launch STEP on July 1, 2017.