I need help paying my bill

Struggling to stay ahead of your utility bills and not sure about your options? Want help paying for home improvements?
Get Help Paying Your Utility Bill

The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) makes energy costs more affordable, prevents the loss of home energy service, and helps restore interrupted service.

There are various types of assistance programs available to customers:

  • If you need help paying heating bills: You may qualify for the Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP)
    • This program helps eligible families with the cost of heating.
    • You can apply every year (July 1 – June 30).
    • Account does not have to be in the Applicant’s name.
    • Payments are made to the fuel supplier and utility company on the customer’s behalf.
  • If you are in danger of having your utility turned off:  You may qualify for the Utility Service Protection Program (USPP)
    • This program is available to ALL MEAP participants (see above)
    • This program provides access to an even monthly payment program and protection from service disconnection.
    • Participation in this program also requires a year-round even monthly budget billing.
  • If you need help paying electricity bills: You may qualify for the Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP)
    • This program helps low-income electric customers pay their electric bills.
    • You can apply every year (July 1 – June 30).
    • Eligible customers receive help that pays a portion of their current electric bills,
    • Account must be in the Applicant’s name and if you receive EUSP, you will be placed on a budget billing plan with their electricity company.
  • If you need help paying overdue electric bills: You may qualify for the Arrearage Retirement Assistance (ARA)
    • This program helps customers with large, past due electric bills.
    • Applicant must receive EUSP grant to be eligible (see above) and have a past-due electric balance of at least $300 or greater.
    • Applicant may receive a grant amount up to $2000 paid directly to their energy utility company.
    • You can apply for this once every five (5) years.
  • If you need help paying overdue gas bills: You may qualify for the Gas Arrearage Retirement Assistance (GARA)
    • This program helps customers with large, past due gas bills.
    • Applicant must receive MEAP grant to be eligible (see above) and have a past-due electric balance of at least $300 or greater.
    • Account must be in the applicant’s name.
    • Applicant may receive a grant amount up to $2000 paid directly to their energy utility company.
    • You can apply for this once every five (5) years.
  • 55 Day Hold 
    • Customers may receive a 55-day hold on their electric & heating accounts if they apply within 14 days of the issuance of a termination notice. Completed application with a termination notice needed to qualify for a hold.
    • Customers may only receive one 55-day hold per program year
    • Customers may not receive a 55-day hold on approved application
    • The 55-day hold may be terminated if the customer is determined ineligible for OHEP or does not complete the application requirements

Apply for all utility assistance programs HERE.

You can also request a Home Energy Program application:

  • By phone, 240-777-4050 (Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
  • Download it in English or Spanish
  • Pick up, mail or deliver completed applications to Office of Home Energy Programs, 1301 Piccard Drive, 1st Floor, Rockville, MD 20850
  • Document drop-off boxes are also located at each of Montgomery County’s  housing stabilization offices.
    • They are open for walk ins: Lobby hours M- F 8:30- 4:30

Get help filling out the application by watching the video below:

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Get Help Paying Your Water/Sewer Bill

New Statewide Water Assistance Program

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is available statewide and provides Maryland households with financial relief toward water and/or wastewater bills. Eligible households may receive up to $2,000. LIHWAP funding is limited, and applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

You can apply for LIHWAP assistance online using the consumer portal at mymdthink.maryland.gov

If you are unable to apply online, you may request an application be mailed to you through the service hotline at 1-800-332-6347 or by calling your local Department of Social Services or Office of Home Energy Programs office.

A printable paper application can be found HERE.

You can connect with LIHWAP Monday-Friday, 8:30AM-5PM by calling their customer service hotline at 1-800-332-6347 or by calling your local Department of Social Services or Office of Home Energy Programs office

Need help right now from WSSC? 

WSSC Water is committed to making your water and sewer bills more affordable. They’ve enhanced their programs and pay plans to provide financial assistance to more residents. Eligible residential customers may request a pay plan to make their water and sewer bills more affordable.

Get started by calling 301-206-4001. Our Customer Service Advisors will help you determine the programs that are best for your situation. Because our programs are administered by different agencies, there may be separate applications and eligibility requirements for each assistance program. All programs require that you be a WSSC Water customer receiving a bill in your name. You will need to present picture identification and proof that your income falls within an established threshold.

Bill adjustments are available to residential customers once every three years under certain circumstances. WSSC Water can work with you if you need help with:

  • Leaks: Leaks result in higher water bills that can cause financial strain. Homeowners who have been responsible for their property and have fixed leaks that caused a high bill may be eligible for an adjustment. For more information see our Household Leak Detection page.
  • CAP-approved customers: CAP-approved customers may be eligible to receive a high bill adjustment removing 100% of the excess water and sewer usage for one billing cycle in any three-year period. See more about CAP below.
  • Other high bill causes: Other adjustments for unexpectedly high bills may be available, including for medical reasons.

PipeER provides emergency loans to finance the replacement of leaking service lines on residential property that connect from WSSC Water’s service connection to the home. The program provides $100,000 each fiscal year to customers in need of emergency funds, on a first-come, first-served basis. This program is administered by the WSSC Federal Credit Union in partnership with WSSC Water.

Need help repairing your water service line? 

Customers are eligible to receive a maximum $5,000 loan, paid directly to a WSSC Water-licensed plumber. For more information on the program and application process, contact the WSSC Federal Credit Union at 240-452-8008 or online at wsscfcu.org/pipeER.

*Tenant-occupied properties require the owner’s written authorization to establish a pay plan, which requires completion of the Owner Authorization Form (Español).


Need long time financial assistance? 

water fund - sharing the essential logoThe Water Fund was established by WSSC Water employees in 1994. Funded by donations from WSSC Water customers, employees and community partners, customers can make multiple requests for assistance with water and sewer bills, up to $500 per year. For more information, see the Water Fund page.

The Water Fund is administered by The Salvation Army in your county:

Montgomery County Salvation Army
20021 Aircraft Drive, Germantown, MD 20874
Tel. No: (301) 515-5354
Fax No: (301) 869-3347

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Sign Up For Regular Monthly Payments

Budget Billing and Customer Affordability Programs are tools that utility companies provide to help spread out annual energy and water bills into even monthly payments. This helps you avoid spikes in your energy bill caused by seasonal fluctuations and unusual utility usage.

Check out this example of a Pepco Budget Bill to find out what you are signing up for and how to read your own bill.

If you need to make your bills more consistent, visit your utility company’s Budget Billing page for more complete details about the program specific to you go directly to the utility website:

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Lower Your Energy Use with Home Repairs

One way to lower your energy costs and make your home more comfortable is by participating in one of these programs that provide energy efficiency upgrades.

1. Montgomery County Energy Efficiency Program

    • This is an income-qualifying, FREE program for Pepco customers.
    • This program provides various energy efficiency upgrades including: attic insulation, water heater replacement, programmable thermostat, appliance upgrades and other measures.

2. Maryland Weatherization Assistance Program

    • This is an income-qualifying, FREE program for all Maryland residents.
    • This program ​provides repairs and upgrades to a home that can significantly lower your energy use throughout the year.
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Keep Your Power On Toolkit

The Office of People’s Counsel has created an energy assistance toolkit to help Maryland households facing utility turn-off notices keep their power on. This toolkit includes videos on how to fill out the Office of Home Energy Programs application, application forms, and resource guides. Everything a person needs to apply for help with their utility bill can be found here. Please distribute this widely to other agencies, to clients, and to anyone else you think could benefit from this toolkit.  Resource Guide  (Spanish Translation)

Step 1: Decide if you are eligible for help through the Office of Home Energy Programs.
Click here for income guidelines

Elegibilidad para OHEP

Step 2: Want to apply for energy assistance through the Office of Home Energy Programs?
Watch this 3 minute video on how to fill out the application the right way

Aplicación de OHEP-Español

Aplicar en línea

Step 3: Gather all of your documents
Click here for a list of all of the documents you will need. Don’t miss any! No matter how you submit your application you must also submit your documents. Missed documents slow down your application.

Seis pasos para mantener la energía encendida: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPVBI04EYCY

Step 4: Apply! Choose Which Way

Infographic with income guidelines

Infographic with income guidelines for households with someone 67+

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Program Finder

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If your utility costs are included in your housing bill, click here

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