More than 100,000 customers lost power in western Maryland.
Potomac Edison is revising its payment plan options for Maryland customers who may need help paying their electric bills in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. "More than 100,000 customers were without power in western Maryland, said spokesman Todd Meyers. "Some were without the juice for several weeks," continued Meyers. "It was an extensive outage and what happens during those times, is people can encounter extra bills that they wouldn't normally, like having to spend money for hotels, spend money for gas for their generators, eating out, all the different things people would need to do when they don't have power, and because of that the utility would like to ease the impact," Meyers said.
The changes make the payment plans more flexible than the current installment plan arrangements. The revised plans will remain in place through March 15, 2013.
"Hurricane Sandy was a devastating storm and continues to be a financial hardship for many of our customers. Whether it be lengthening the payback period or reducing the down payment amount, our goal is to tailor the payment plan options to better assist customers in the hardest-hit areas."
Among other changes, the new payment plan arrangements for Maryland customers of Potomac Edison include the following:
Customers are only required to pay 25 percent of the total past-due balance rather than the current 50 percent. These guidelines apply to customers who have received termination notices as well as those who have established new payment agreements with Potomac Edison due to loss of income, serious injury or other special conditions.
Customers may opt for a three-month payback period or receive an extended due date with approval from the utility.
For Potomac Edison customers who might need a few additional days to pay their bill, a "promise to pay" extension of up to 10 days beyond the due date printed on their bill statement can be granted by calling the company's customer service number at 1-800-686-0011. To take advantage of this option, a customer must have made a payment within the past three months and must not have broken a previous promise to pay within the past three months.
Some customers who lost electric service due to Hurricane Sandy are receiving estimated bills. Customers with questions about their bills are encouraged to call 1-800-686-0011. Or, submit a meter reading online: www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/help/billingpayments/about_your_bill.html .