WORKGROUP ON LOW-INCOME UTILITY ASSISTANCE


[photo, 311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, Maryland] Chair: Rafael J. Lopez, Secretary of Human Services

Appointed by Governor: Robbie Black; Cindy Carter; Nichole Fernandes; Laurel A. Peltier.

Appointed by Senate President: Malcolm L. Augustine

Appointed by House Speaker: Lorig Charkoudian

Ex officio: Anthony G. Brown, Attorney General; Jacob R. Day, Secretary of Housing & Community Development; Frederick H. Hoover, Esq., Chair, Public Service Commission; David S. Lapp, Esq., People's Counsel.


Department of Human Services, 311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, Maryland, January 2002. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Staff: Katherine (Kate) Natafgi

c/o Office of Secretary, Department of Human Services
311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 3521
(410) 767-1037
e-mail: katherine.natafgi@maryland.gov

In June 2021, the Workgroup on Low-Income Utility Assistance was formed by the General Assembly (Chapters 638 & 639, Acts of 2021).

The Workgroup is studying current systems and forms of financial assistance available to low-income electric and natural gas customers in Maryland. These come from federal, State, local and private sources, including the Electric Universal Service Program and the Maryland Energy Assistance Program, which are part of the Office of Home Energy Programs within the Department of Human Services. Inefficiencies and gaps in availability and delivery of assistance are being identified, and the feasibility for natural gas of establishing a new universal service program or expanding current programs is under consideration. Further, the Workgroup will consider coordinating benefits to extend and enhance existing programs, as well as the anticipated long- and short-term need for financial assistance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the systemic economic inequities it exposed.

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