Bill Assistance

Alternate Payment Plans

  • A customer who is unable to pay for electric service in accordance with SMECO billing practices may, under certain circumstances, negotiate an alternate payment plan
  • The alternate payment plan will take into account the customer’s circumstances, financial condition, and payment history
  • Arrangements for alternate payment plans can be made in Account Manager, in person, or over the phone ((888) 440-3311) – Payment arrangements must be made before the termination date.
  • The plan negotiated will be noted on the customer’s account record at SMECO – If the customer fails to meet the obligations agreed upon, SMECO may initiate turn-off procedures without further notice for a past-due balance

Bill Extender Plan

  • SMECO offers a Bill Extender Plan to assist qualifying residential members
  • You may qualify if you receive Social Security benefits or other government financial assistance as the main source of income within your household or if you are at least 62 years old
  • The plan automatically extends the date a current bill is due to a 32-day due date.

Members Helping Members

  • If you need to apply for assistance, call the Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee at (301) 274-4474, extension 286, and leave a message

Visit our Members Helping Members page for more information.

Universal Service Program

The state of Maryland funds its Universal Service Program through charges on electric bills. Below are some frequently asked questions on the issue.

What Is the Universal Service Program?

The Universal Service Program is a result of legislation bringing customer choice to Maryland’s electric utility industry. This program was created by the Maryland General Assembly and is administered by the state Department of Human Resources to help low-income electric customers.

Who Is the Universal Service Program Designed For?

The Universal Service Program is available to customers whose incomes are at or below 150% of the poverty level. The program provides bill assistance, arrearage retirement, and help with home weatherization.

How Is the Program Funded?

Customers of Maryland utilities fund the program through the Electric Universal Service Charge on their monthly electric bills.

How Much Is the Universal Service Charge?

Maryland’s residential electric customers pay a flat fee of 36 cents per month on their electric bills. The Universal Service charge for commercial and industrial customers is set each year based on the amount that the customer paid for distribution service in the previous year. Electric utilities collect the money and forward it directly to the state comptroller’s office to support the Universal Service Program.

How Do I Find Out More?

The state Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP), a part of the Department of Human Resources, coordinates the Universal Service Program.

Below is information on the agencies assisting eligible Universal Service Program participants in SMECO’s service area.

Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee, Inc.
(Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties)
8371 Leonardtown Road (Old Route 5), Hughesville
(800) 255-5313
(301) 274-4474

Prince George’s County Department of Social Services
805 Brightseat Road, Landover
(301) 909-6300

Below is a list of the OHEP phone numbers, as well as the numbers of other agencies that offer assistance.

Calvert County

Department of Social Services (443) 550-6900
Salvation Army/WAFF (301) 638-9532

Charles County

Department of Social Services (301) 392-6400
VFW/American Legion Posts (must be a veteran)
Salvation Army/WAFF (301) 638-9532
Lifestyles of Maryland (301) 609-9900
Interfaith Community Connection (301) 374-9028

St. Mary’s County

Department of Social Services:
Leonardtown (240) 895-7000
Lexington Park (240) 725-5700
Salvation Army/WAFF (301) 638-9532

Local churches may offer assistance.

You may also download a PDF of the Energy Assistance Card:

Patriot Connect

SMECO’s Patriot Connect program is designed to help veterans and active military personnel who may be having a difficult time transitioning back into the community.