The Executive Order by Governor Hogan on March 16th prohibits utilities, such as electric, gas, water, sewer, cable, internet, and phone lines, to be cut off nor incur late fees until October 1st. The Public Service Commission issued a press release stating that utilities can not send a cut off notice until October 1st, and it requires that utilities have to provide a 45 day notice to the consumer before a shut off during which the consumer can enter into a payment plan with the utility or apply for energy assistance. If either of those actions are taken, the utility can not shut off the service. For more details, click here.
The Maryland Office of People's Counsel has a woksheet on maintaining utility service during the COVID 19 health crisis.
Baltimore City and County will halt water shutoffs for failure to pay.
Baltimore City's Community Action Partnership (CAP) Centers were closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16th. CAP Center staff will continue to field customer phone calls and process applications for energy assistance and the City's BH20 water discount program. Community members may apply for energy assistance online or call 410-396-6406.
BGE is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges through July 1st. Energy Assistance: Community members may apply for energy assistance online or call 410-396-6406.
Pepco is suspending service disconnections and waiving late payment charges until at least July 1st. Requests to start or stop service will be carried out as usual. Contact Pepco at 202-833-7500 if you’re worried you may not be able to pay your bill
First Energy/Potomac Edison is discontinuing shut-offs due to nonpayment as of March 13th. It is offering to work with customers having trouble paying their bills, to spread payments out over the course of the year. If your service was discontinued prior to March 13th, or if you are having difficulty paying your bill now, call 800-686-0011.
Delmarva Power is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges at least until July 1st and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options. According to a press release from Delmarva, assistance can also include working to reconnect households that may have already been disconnected so families can be safe during the Covid-19 crisis.
WSSC has suspended Water shut-offs for those who are having trouble paying their bills, and late fees have been waived. In-home, non-emergency work is canceled or postponed.
Baltimore City Water and Waste issued a statement that water service will not be shut off due to non-payment of bills, and late fees will be waived. The utility will offer customers repayment plans if they fall behind in their bills.
Washington Gas is suspending disconnections and waiving late fees on customer bills. These actions are automatically in place and do not need to be requested. They are offering payment arrangements.
Comcast will provide 2 months of free internet services. Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, new Internet Essentials customers will receive two free months of Internet service. The following policies will be put in place and will stay in effect for the next 60 days.Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, click here . Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser. Comcast will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact Comcast know that they can’t pay their bills during this period.
Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month.
Verizon has issued a statement that late fees are waived for 60 days starting March 16, and service will not be terminated. Customers having trouble paying their bills due to a loss of income should call customer service to discuss their hardship.
Alticeis offering its Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband service free for 60 days to any new residential customer currently without internet access.
Charter Spectrumwill offer free Spectrum broadband and WiFi access for 60 days to households with students in kindergarten through 12th grade or college students who don't already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. The installation fees will be waived for new student households. To enroll, call 844-488-8395.For eligible low-income households without school-age children, Charter offers Spectrum Internet Assist, a low-cost broadband program delivering speeds of 30 Mbps.
Cox Internet saysnew customers can receive a free month of internet service in the company'sConnect2Compete plan, available to qualified low-income households for $9.95 a month. The company is also fast-tracking the application process to get families connected more quickly.Cox will make its Complete Care support program free to all residential customers who have technical issues or need assistance installing features like education software or teleconferencing.
Sparklight says it's making unlimited data available on all internet services and waiving late fees for the next 30 days. Customers can call to arrange payment deferrals.
T-Mobilehas no data cap for its home internet service. All current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile wireless customers who have cell- phone plans with data will be granted unlimited smartphone datafor the next 60 days (excluding roaming). They'll also receive an additional 20GB of mobile hot spot/tethering service for those two months. The company is working to provide Lifeline low-income customers with up to 5GB of free data per month over the next two months.