20.31.05.05

.05 Application Procedures.

A. For participation in the Utility Service Protection Program, a customer shall apply for the Maryland Energy Assistance Program for those utilities which provide gas and electric service to the customer.

B. Completed applications forwarded by MEAP to the utility shall include:

(1) A written certification from MEAP that the applicant has applied and is eligible for MEAP; and

(2) A written designation from MEAP of the applicant's poverty level and grant amount payable to the utility.

C. The applicant shall sign a form requesting participation in the USPP and agreeing to:

(1) Comply with the terms of the Utility Service Protection Program;

(2) Make payments pursuant to an annual payment plan which is specific to the customer and calculated in accordance with Regulation .06; and

(3) Make payments pursuant to a supplemental payment plan to retire any accumulated arrearages under COMAR 20.31.01.08. The utility shall consider the poverty level of the household as determined in the MEAP application in establishing the amount of the required monthly payment to liquidate arrearages.

D. At the time of application, an applicant shall be notified of all protections and responsibilities accorded under Regulations .06, .07, and .08. Applicants eligible for protection under Regulation .07E shall be notified of the $40 per month minimum payment provision set forth under Regulation .07E, and that any amount due to the utility in excess of the minimum payment requirement shall be payable during the ensuing non-heating season.

E. An applicant shall be promptly notified by the utility of his acceptance into the Utility Service Protection Program and be provided with a copy of the equal monthly payment plan designated for that applicant under Regulation .06 of this chapter.

F. Each utility shall reimburse the MEAP for its administrative costs of taking applications from program participants and forwarding them to the utility. The charge shall be as established by the Commission upon request by MEAP.