Utilities

Utilities can send shutoff notices to Maryland homes starting this week. But help is available.

Utility companies could soon send termination notices to Marylanders who are behind on their bills, as a months-long moratorium on shut-offs comes to an end.



Under a ruling by the state’s Public Service Commission, residents will have 45 days notice to address unpaid bills with their utility company once they receive a termination notice. They will not have their service disconnected if they work out a payment plan or apply for energy assistance.


© Ulysses Muu00f1oz/The Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Under a ruling by the state’s Public Service Commission, residents will have 45 days notice to address unpaid bills with their utility company once they receive a termination notice. They will not have their service disconnected if they work out a payment plan or apply for energy assistance.

A state prohibition on residential disconnections began in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A moratorium remains in place for water, gas and electric service turn-offs until Nov. 15, but notices can begin going out Oct. 1.

Consumer advocates, state officials and utility companies all have the same message: Reach out now if you need help.

They said people should contact their utilities and apply for assistance as soon as possible.

Under a ruling by the state’s Public Service Commission, residents will have 45 days to address unpaid bills with their utility company once they receive a termination notice. They will not have their service disconnected if they work out a payment plan or apply for energy assistance.

“I would describe the magnitude of the situation as immense. It’s important for any customer that needs assistance … to reach out immediately.””,”additional_properties”:{“comments”:1/83/8,”inline_comments”:1/83/83/4,”_id”:”JIQE5PGPW5GUZBOLKXFIM234XM

Jason Stanek, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission

More than $150 million has been set aside for energy assistance in Maryland, but many people who need help have not applied.

“The bottom line is we want to ensure that people keep their electricity — and as we’re entering into a colder season, that their heat says on,” said Maryland People’s Counsel Paula M. Carmody, whose office represents consumers and had pushed for a longer moratorium.

The

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