State’s energy assistance grants available to help low-income families stay safe this winter
Maryland’s Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP), administered by the Department of Human Resources (DHR), oversees a crucial grant program that offers the average eligible household more than $1,000 per year to assist them in paying their heating and electric bills. Annually, more than 100,000 households across the state enroll in the program. Under Governor Larry Hogan’s leadership, and in partnership with elected officials and energy companies throughout Maryland, OHEP helps families replenish heating fuel in their home, keep their lights on, stay warm, and chip away at past-due electric bill arrearages. In many cases, an OHEP energy grant makes the difference for a family struggling to stay safe and warm.
This winter, households across Maryland will face unthinkable choices between heating their homes, paying for medical care, and meeting their basic living expenses. Many will forego heat and electricity on the coldest winter nights, opting to just “put on another sweater” in order to withstand their bills. 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 heating crises,” said Gregory James, Acting Secretary of the Department of Human Resources. “Energy emergencies erode health, finances, and safety, but these grants can protect our most vulnerable Marylanders from a winter without heat or electricity.”
Eligibility is based on household income, and households can qualify regardless of participation in other State benefits programs. Residents can apply for benefits on an annual basis, with each grant year starting July 1 and concluding on June 30 of the following year. 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 apply 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 dhr.maryland.gov/OHEPlocal, or by calling DHR’s helpline at (800) 332-6347. Households can also apply online at dhr.maryland.gov/benefits.
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.