Pepco reminds customers of important energy assistance available in the District of Columbia and Maryland to help meet their energy needs. With hundreds of thousands of people impacted by the ongoing federal government shutdown, Pepco is taking steps to expand awareness of the programs in place to help customers stay energized through temporary or extended financial hardship.
Pepco works closely with state, federal, and nonprofit partners to ensure they have the information and support they need to help customers manage their energy expenses during times of hardship.
- LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. LIHEAP provides grants in varying amounts based on a household’s income size, type of fuel, and type of dwelling, with no pay back required. District residents can apply for assistance online though the Department of Energy and the Environment website or by calling 311. Maryland customers can apply for LIHEAP energy assistance through the Department of Human Services website, by visiting a Local Energy Assistance Office, or by calling the Maryland Department of Human Services Office of Home Energy Programs at 1-800-332-6347.
- The Utility Discount Program (UDP) assists low-income District residents reduce their utility costs. Eligible customers may receive a discount of up to $475 per year on their electric bill ($300 per year if non-electric heat). District residents can visit the Department of Energy and the Environment website at doee.dc.gov to apply online or calling 3-1-1 to schedule an in-person appointment.
- The Greater Washington Urban League provides up to $500 in assistance to eligible customers facing disconnection. Customers can call (202) 265-8200 or visit www.gwul.org.
- The Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP) helps eligible customers pay for a portion of their current electric bill. The Arrearage Retirement Assistance (ARA) program helps customers with large, past due electric and gas bills. If eligible, customers may receive forgiveness of up to $2,000 towards their past due bill. The Utility Service Protection Program (USPP) is designed to help low-income families during the heating season. Information regarding these programs can be found on the Maryland Department of Human Services Office of Home Energy Programs website or by calling 1-800-332-6347.
- Pepco customers with a disconnection notice or who currently have service disconnected can receive a grant up to $1,000 once a year through the Pepco Washington Area Fuel Fund Partnership administered by the Salvation Army. Customers in the District of Columbia (wards 1-6) call (202) 332-5000 or (wards 7-8) call (202) 678-9771. Prince George’s County residents can call (301) 277-6103 and Montgomery County residents can call (301) 515-5354 for assistance.
- Through Pepco’s Gift of Energy program, anyone can make a payment towards a friend or family member’s energy bill. The gift will appear on a future bill as a credit to the recipient's account.
“We recognize that federal government employees may be in a challenging financial position as the shutdown continues,” said Adrian Chapman, President and CEO of Washington Gas and WGL. “ As the shutdown of the Federal Government continues, Washington Gas announced Tuesday, January 8, 2019 that it will offer:
- flexible payment arrangements for government employees directly impacted.
- work with affected employees so that they continue to receive their natural gas service without interruption.”
- several payment plans and services available to customers who may have difficulty paying their bills. Customers should contact Washington Gas customer service representatives at 1-844-WASHGAS to discuss their individual situations.
Plans to assist customers include:
- The Washington Gas Budget Plan: This plan allows eligible customers to spread the cost of winter heating over the entire year. It helps to minimize the impact of typically higher seasonal bills and provides greater flexibility in managing a household budget. The Budget Plan is designed as a 12-month program, and we encourage customers to stay on it year-round to realize the potential benefits.
- Payment Deferments: Washington Gas will work with all eligible customers who cannot pay the “past due bill amount” as well as the “current charges” on their gas bill, by offering deferred payment arrangements upon request by the customer. Washington Gas will comply with all applicable laws, tariff regulations and orders of its regulators when extending payment deferments to customers who show a willingness to pay past due amounts. The deferred payment agreement Washington Gas may enter into with its customers prevents further credit action on the account, including the assessment of late charges, mailed reminder and/or turn off notices, and collection calls, as long as the customer abides by the agreement.http://www.waffhelp.org
- The Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF): Founded by Washington Gas and administered by The Salvation Army, WAFF helps families who do not qualify for, or who have exhausted, government energy assistance. WAFF provides funds for all types of fuel to heat families' homes during the winter heating season. Through its merger with AltaGas, Washington Gas has increased its funding to WAFF and broadened WAFF’s eligibility beyond low-income customers. For example, a family of four earning $75,050 could qualify for assistance. WAFF also accepts donations to assist neighbors in need. Every dollar donated to WAFF goes directly to those who need assistance because Washington Gas pays the administrative fees of the fund. For more information or to apply for assistance, contact The Salvation Army at 888-318-WAFF (9233) or visit www.waffhelp.org. Donations can also be made at this website.
DC Water announced a plan to immediately begin working with any federal worker who may need additional flexibility in paying their bill because of the government shutdown.
“We stand ready to work with any customer. They are unintended victims in this situation and we are gladly willing to provide anyone affected by the shutdown with a payment plan or other options for paying their bill,” said David L. Gadis, Chief Executive Officer of DC Water.
Gadis reminded customers that DC Water already has multiple programs to assist customers who are struggling with their bills, including:
- Extended payment plans. Call (202) 354-3600 to and work with customer assistance team.
- SPLASH (Serving People by Lending A Supporting Hand) SPLASH is a DC Water program that helps customers maintain critical water and sewer service in times of financial emergencies.
- DOEE Customer Assistance Program. This new program launched on January 1 and builds on the longtime Customer Assistance Program offered by DC Water for any customer in need. This and the newer versions of the program are administered by the city’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE).
Impacted federal workers can learn more about options by calling customer service at (202) 354-3600. More details on customer assistance options can be found at www.dcwater.com/customer-assistance.