If you're behind on your electric bills, then the Arrearage Management Program (AMP) may be able to help you. This new program can help you wipe out what you owe.
The AMP can also work with you to see if there are some free or cheap ways to reduce how much electricity you use.
The program begins on October 1st.
You pay just your current monthly electric bill, each month and on time. For each month that you pay your current bill, your electric utility company will wipe out 1/12 of what you owe them on your back bill.
For example, let’s say that you owe $1200 to the company on back electricity bills. Follow these steps:
So by making your monthly payments on time, your $1200 debt is wiped out in one year. You pay nothing more than your current bill!
NOTE: No more than $300 of debt can be wiped out each month. So, if you owe more than $3600, you can stay on the program for more than 12 months until your entire debt is gone.
To sign up for AMP:
To stay in the program after you sign up:
You can apply for AMP when you apply for LIHEAP. If you are already in LIHEAP, you can apply for AMP directly through your electric company. If you get your electricity through Central Maine Power, they have their own online AMP application. Call your utility company and ask to sign up for AMP. Or you may be able to find the application form on the company’s website.
You may get one chance to reapply for the program. (Each electric company has their own rules about this.) You will have to make up the missed payment and pay any late fees in a reasonable amount of time. If you do that, then you will still be in the program. You won’t have to reapply and start over.
If you fall behind a second time, you will no longer be able to stay in AMP. Then you will face debt collection from the electric company and risk being disconnected. The portion of your back bill that was wiped out while you were on AMP will stay wiped out.
You can call the Consumer Assistance Division at the Maine Public Utilities Commission. 1-800-452-4699, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Or file a complaint online. This state office also fields more general questions and complaints from utility customers - not just AMP issues.