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Grant Money Helps Maryland Households Pay Energy Bills

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For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2017

Contact:
Kari Nye, kari.nye@maryland.gov
(410) 767-8592

Grant Money Helps Maryland Households Pay Energy Bills

Energy assistance available to help families stay cool and keep the lights on

Baltimore—Maryland’s Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP), administered by the Department of Human Resources (DHR), oversees a grant program that offers the average eligible Maryland household more than $1,000 per year to assist in paying their electric and heating bills. Annually, more than 100,000 households across the state enroll in the program. Under Governor Larry Hogan, and in partnership with elected officials and energy companies throughout Maryland, OHEP helps households stay cool, keep their lights on, prevent utility cut-offs, and chip away at electric bill arrearages. In many cases, an OHEP energy grant makes the difference for a low-income family struggling to beat the heat in their own home.

This summer, low-income households across Maryland will face tough choices between paying high energy costs and meeting their basic living expenses. Often, energy bills are compounded by inadequate home weatherization and the cost to operate in-home medical equipment and outdated cooling systems. Fortunately, Governor Hogan, the Maryland General Assembly, and DHR have stepped up to heed the call for help.

“This energy program offers direct, meaningful relief from high energy costs, and protects families from energy crises,” said Lourdes Padilla, Secretary of the Department of Human Resources. “Energy emergencies erode health, finances, and community well-being, but these grants can protect our most vulnerable Marylanders by helping them afford to live safely in their own homes.”

Eligibility is based on household income, and households can qualify regardless of participation in other State benefits programs. Households may apply at any time, and reapply once per year as needed. Applicants do not need to be behind on their bills in order to qualify for help.

Interested residents should submit a completed paper application and the required supporting documents to their local energy office. To apply for assistance or get further information, customers can contact their nearest energy office by visiting www.dhr.maryland.gov/OHEPlocal, or by calling DHR’s helpline at (800) 332-6347. Households can also apply online at www.dhr.maryland.gov/benefits.Learn more about OHEP grants by watching this video containing explanation and a first-hand account: https://vimeo.com/211476070.

DHR—the Maryland Department of Human Resources—is the state’s primary social service provider, serving more than one million people annually. Through its 24 local departments of social services, DHR aggressively pursues opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide preventive services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. Additional information may be found at www.dhr.maryland.gov, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Filed in: DHS News, In the Press

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