The Maryland Energy Assistance Program, or MEAP, as well as weatherization, can offer financial assistance for paying heating bills, grants for repairing furnaces, and other support such as free energy conservation services. Low income families in Maryland are the primary beneficiaries, with the focus on senior citizens, the disabled, and families with children.
Maryland not only offers cash grants from the MEAP Energy Assistance Program, which is their version of LIHEAP, but they also can help people apply for additional federal government or statewide resources. These include Utility Service Protection Program (USPP), weatherization, and the Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP). More details on each of these are below.
Help for paying heating bills will come from MEAP. Any aid is only offered at most once per year to qualified applicants. It is almost always offered in combination with the Utility Service Protection Program, and the application process is the same for both resources and is a shared application. Some of the information that needs to be provided on the application includes Social Security cards for all members of the household, a valid photo identification, copy of current utility or heating bills, verification of your income, and proof of residence.
The USPP program protects low-income and working poor families from utility disconnections. It also allows MEAP eligible households to enter into a year-round budget payment plan with their utility company. As part of this government assistance program, clients can also get help with other needs, such as replacing a broken or inefficient furnace.
Another low income assistance program in Maryland is Electric Universal Service Program, or EUSP. This can assist qualified low-income electric customers with paying their electricity bills. The program was designed to be as wide ranging as possible, and can assist customers whether they already had their utilities disconnected, or if they are just falling behind. The EUSP arrearage component of this government assistance can help low-income households in Maryland pay for and clear up old utility bills. Arrearage assistance from these services may be accessed only once every 7 years, so if you do need to turn to this resource do so wisely and at the right time. In addition, receive assistance with paying current electric and heating bills, past due expenses, and also get help with energy efficiency and conservation measures in order to reduce future heating and electric bills.
To apply for any of these Energy Assistance Programs in Maryland, dial 1-800-352-1446.
The Maryland Weatherization Assistance Program can help increase the energy efficiency of your home. It is offered for low-income households. Receive savings on your heating bills, and also get other needs met, such as weatherization will help ensure your living environment is healthy and safe. Priority for these assistance programs is given to homeowners (or renters) that have children, homeowners who are elderly, disabled, senior citizens, and other high energy users.
The United States Department of Energy pays for the state program and the improvements that are made. So get help with insulation in the attic, hot water tanks and systems, lighting retrofits, floors and wall insulation, and even furnace tune ups and cleaning. All of these updates will help people conserve and save money on their heating bills.
Eligibility requirements are as follows. In order to be considered qualified for assistance, an applicant needs to be able to prove ownership of the home and also meet certain income criteria and guidelines. An income scale is in place, so you are allowed to have a higher income if you have more members in your household. Priority for energy conservation in Maryland is also given to homeowners who spend a large percentage of their income on their heating bills. For more information, call 1-800-638-7781 or your local community action agency.
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