WORK GROUP ON LOW-INCOME UTILITY ASSISTANCE


[photo, 311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, Maryland] Chair: Lourdes R. Padilla, 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: one vacancy

Ex officio: Brian E. Frosh, Attorney General; Kenneth C. Holt, Secretary of Housing & Community Development; David S. Lapp, Esq., People's Counsel; Jason M. Stanek, Esq., Chair, Public Service Commission.


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


Staff: Christina Church

c/o Office of Secretary, Department of Human Services
311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 3521
(410) 767-8967
e-mail: christina.church1@maryland.gov


Report to Senate Finance Committee & House Economic Matters Committee on what governmental & private assistance is available to low-income residential electric & natural gas customers due Jan. 1, 2022 (Chapters 638 & 639, Acts of 2021).

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

The Work Group is studying what current systems and forms of financial assistance are available to low-income electric and natural gas customers in Maryland from federal, State, local and private sources, including the Electric Universal Service Program and the Maryland Energy Assistance Program. 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 Work Group will examine coordinating benefits in existing programs to extend and enhance those 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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