The electricity company cannot immediately shut off electric service but they can eventually.
Old school prepaid electricity companies that use estimated electric usage rather than smart electric meter real time data are notorious for shutting service off without proper notice.
It is different when a Maryland prepaid electric company turns service off right away because the customer is paying in advance for electric service so if that prepayment isn’t made each month it would be natural for the electric company to shut off service.
So what are the laws regarding when electricity companies in Maryland can shut off electric service to your home?
They can do it for these reasons only:
- If you fail to keep a payment agreement.
- If you fail to pay your electricity deposit.
- If there is no access to the electric meter.
Maryland electricity companies like Met-Ed will send you a 10 day notice after failure to pay your electric bill. Once you have this notice in hand you have 60 days before the electricity company will shut off your energy service.
The MD electricity company will call you 3 days prior to the official electric service shut off to warn you one last time to pay your electric bill.
If the electric utility in Maryland cannot reach you on the phone during that 3 day period they will leave a notice at your physical residence that the electric service will be turned off in 48 hours.
Once your MD electric service has been shut off you will get a notice regarding exactly what you have to do to get your electric service restored.
What are the situations in which Maryland electric service can be turned off by the utility without notice?
- If you are stealing electric service from your MD electricity company
- Getting energy service through some type of fraud
- If you have tampered with your electric meter
- An unsafe condition develops with the electricity equipment
What days can electric service be shut off?
- Service can be turned off on all weekdays, including Friday.
- During the winter from (Dec 1 – March 31st) electric service can be turned off without getting PUC approval first. However if your income is 250% below the federal poverty guideline approval must be obtained from the PUC prior to turning electric service off. So if you have 3 people at your Maryland home you would have to make below $3,265 to require the PUC permission rule to kick in.
- If a bad check is issued to postpone turning off power the electric utility may turn off power without any further notices.
How do Maryland electric service customers restore electric service once it has been turned off?
- A payment plan agreement can sometimes be worked out based on income and payment history.
- An electricity deposit and or reconnect fee may be required after the utility has turned off your lights for non-payment.
- Between Dec 1 – March 31 energy service can be reinstated within 24 hours once payment has been made.
- During other times of the year it could take as long as 3 – 7 business days to restore your Maryland electric service.
Maryland Electricity Deposits
- Deposits are usually required if you fail to make an electric bill payment and your credit is bad.
- Electricity deposits can also be required for a failed credit check,
- poor payment history,
- or because of previous lights turn off related to an overdue electric bill.
What to do if you feel you were not given proper notice regarding electricity service being turned off in your Maryland home?
You will want to contact your Maryland electricity company to complain first. If they cannot help you, you may then contact the Maryland Public Utility Commission with your complaint.