Help Paying Utilities




Maryland assistance and help.

The need for utility bill help in Maryland doubles over the last few years due primarily to the weak economy. The number of families and people visiting the states and county's energy assistance offices that are looking for help with paying their utility, electric and heating bills nearly doubled last year from the historical averages.

About 2,000 people came into the Office of Home Energy Programs just last month and they are all looking for help. This number is from the most recent February report, and it can be compared with 1,097 visitors in February 2008, according to statistics provided by that office. In addition to that, about 200 phone calls for utility bill assistance are coming into the office daily.

As of early March 2009, 8,921 households had applied for help with paying utility bills, which is 1,075 households, or almost 14 percent, more than in 2008 on the same date. And the number of requests and applications for emergency energy bill assistance had risen almost 20 percent — from 3,300 to 3,900.

Several gas and utility companies said as many as one in three residential customers is late paying their bill. Some other studies indicate that about 20 percent of its residential customers in Washington, D.C., and Maryland are late paying their energy bills.

What this really means is that non one, regardless of your income, background, or social status should hesitate to call and request help. The weak economy has put a tremendous strain on families in Maryland, and these programs were created specifically to help the low income pay their utility and electric bills.


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