Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can I apply for energy assistance?

Q. I have a utility turn-off notice. Can OHEP help me?

OHEP may be able to apply grants towards your electric bill in order to avoid termination in electric service. Call your local OHEP office to schedule an appointment to apply for assistance. Tell them that you have a turn-off notice. Additional resources may be necessary in order to prevent your electric from being turned off. You may need to pay a portion of the outstanding balance on your own.

Q. How long will it take to have the MEAP grant credited to my account?

No MEAP payments are made before December. If you apply after December, it will normally take about 2 to 4 weeks before a grant is issued to the supplier. If you heat with oil, kerosene, propane, wood, or coal you will have to schedule a delivery. Payments to utility companies for electric or natural gas are credited to your account automatically. When they may appear on your bill depends on when the grant was received in the billing cycle. Electric Universal Service payments are about 2 to 4 weeks after application.

Q. What is USPP?

The Utility Service Protection Program (USPP) protects low-income families from utility cut-offs and allows MEAP eligible households to enter into a year-round even monthly payment program with their utility company. An equal monthly payment plan based on the estimated cost of the customer’s average annual utility usage minus the MEAP benefit will be used to determine the even monthly payments for participation in the USPP.

Q. What do I do if my service is already OFF?

OHEP may be able to apply grants towards your electric bill in order to restore electric service. Call your local OHEP office to schedule an appointment to apply for assistance. Tell them that your electric has been turned off. Additional resources may be necessary in order to restore electric service. You may need to pay a portion of the outstanding balance on your own.

Find out if you are eligible for any additional energy resources:

    1. Emergency grants from Social Services
    2. Local Fuel Funds
    3. Local faith-based community resources
    4. Other sources identified by assisting agencies

Q. What is the difference between Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) and the Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP)?

Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) is a federally funded program focused mainly on heating assistance. The Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP) is funded by Maryland ratepayers (Commercial, Industrial and Residential) and provides assistance for Electric customers.

Q. When can I apply?

Applications for the Office of Home Energy Programs are accepted at any time during the year (July 1st – June 30th). However, applications are only processed July 1st – May 31st.