There are several different government programs and fuel funds available across Maryland. Each program can help the less fortunate, unemployed, senior citizens, and people who meet qualifications pay for their winter heating and natural gas bills. Some of the resources are offered in partnership with charities or non-profits such as the Salvation Army, and others are strictly state of Maryland or government funded assistance programs.
Residents in the Washington DC area or counties of Montgomery, Charles, Prince George and Calvert can turn to the Salvation Army for heating bill assistance. The program they administer is the Washington Area Fuel Fund, and emergency financial aid may be offered for those who need help.
It can pay for various types of heating sources, including oil, kerosene, natural gas, wood, or more. Basically your fuel source will not be taken into consideration as part of the application. Note that financial aid is only available for people who do not qualify for any other non-profit or government assistance, so they can’t be eligible for LIHEAP or other support. In addition to that, key factors looked at will be your income as well as number of household members. Call 301-515-5354, or 202-332-5000, or contact your local Salvation Army Corp center to apply. This program also relies on donations, so please do contribute if you can.
The Victorine Q. Adams Fuel Fund is available in Baltimore, both the city and county. It will help qualified people who are faced with a disconnection of their heat or power during the winter. While funding will vary each year, in general the program can provide utility credits on your account toward any past arrearages. Also around $100 to $200 can be provided for bills if you are faced with a disconnection. Victoria Q. Adams can also offer free heating oil to low income families, and this may be distributed. One or more of these resources may be offered to those Maryland families who meet eligibility requirements. Apply at your local Mayor Crisis Resource Centers in Baltimore, or call 410-396-4433.
Another resource is the Fuel Fund of Maryland, Inc., and this is supported by non-profit organizations, charities and fuel funds in many parts of the state. It is available to households in Baltimore, Howard, Anne Arundel, and other Maryland counties. This can help Baltimore Gas and Electric customers pay their winter heating bills if they have a disconnection notice.
If you need help, call 410-685-0123. You may be offered grants, financial assistance, or some type of payment extension on your account. You may be provided an additional week or so to catch up on any bills that are due. Some of the qualifications include you can’t have receive help from the Fuel Fund in the last 12 months, you need to qualify from the Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs, and applicants need to have a turn-off notice for their natural gas or electricity service. Or this may help those families that are out of of heating oil.
Recipients of the Fuel Fund of Maryland, Inc. still need to pay part of the energy bill, using their own money or maybe funds from a charity. They will also need to get back current with their monthly payments in a short period of time, as the assistance program is limited in how long it will support the needy.
If you want to apply, you need to contact a community action agency or Fuel Fund in your local community. A certification from the Office of Home Energy Programs is required in order to get financial help, and as indicated applicants need to have a shut off notice during the winter. Full supporting documentation and proof is needed, including copies of bills, picture I.D., certification and more.
Additional Salvation Army and/or Delmarva heating bill programs in Maryland include the Good Neighbor Fuel Fund as well as HeatShare. Both are funded by donations from the public, businesses, utility company employees, and matching grants from local energy companies.
The programs will provide heating bill grants to low income customers for use in paying bills, offsetting arrears or restoring service to terminated utility accounts. The two fuel funds were created to help families with low incomes that have exhausted all other available non-profit and government energy assistance programs.
The three main state of Maryland and federal government supported programs are the Maryland Energy Assistance (MEAP) as well as Electric Universal Service Program and the Utility Service Protection Program. Each of these has their own terms and conditions in place, and each has a particular goal in mind.
MEAP can distribute money to the working poor, elderly and others in Maryland. It can give them a cash grant for paying their heating bills. Money may also be offered during the winter to pay for inefficient furnaces, or maybe even to replace the entire unit. The EUSP is another grant program for low income families. The Utility Service Protection Program is a budget program that was created by the Maryland Department of Human Resources, and can even help people who heat was turned off due to non-payment.
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