Payment Plans

Even Monthly Payment Plans

Even monthly payment plans are Public Service Commission-approved utility programs. The BGE plan is called budget billing. A customer may sign up for this plan subject to the utility’s restrictions. The utility may limit participation to “creditworthy” customers.

The plans provide for even monthly payments over time. However, these plans do not mean that the customer pays the same amount for 12 months

Annual average usage/12 = monthly payment

Over time, a credit or debit may build up

The monthly payments are adjusted at least two times a year. The utility may adjust the monthly payment up or down more frequently if the debit or credit gets too high. The utility may increase the payment amount to reflect estimated increases resulting from rate increases. A “payment plan” or “budget bill” amount is not necessarily an “affordable” amount.

For customers with retail energy supplier contracts, the utility only provides these plans for the distribution charges on the bill (Potomac Edison and Washington Gas may be exceptions). A retail supplier may offer other plans for its’ own supplier charges.

Learn more about your utility's offerings:



Columbia Gas

Easton Utilities  



Potomac Edison 


Washington Gas

Alternate Payment Plans

An alternate payment plan means a payment plan designed to avoid service termination and to pay all outstanding charges to the utility.

If you are a low-income customer, and are not able to pay an outstanding bill in full, the following rule applies:

The utility must in good faith attempt to negotiate a reasonable alternative payment plan.

If you are not a low-income customer, but you are unable to pay an outstanding bill in full, the following rule applies:

The utility may in good faith attempt to negotiate a reasonable alternate payment plan.

In negotiating an alternate payment plan for any customer, the utility must consider the circumstances and financial condition of the customer, including:

Size of the outstanding bill

Customer ability to pay

Customer payment history

Any expected energy assistance (EUSP and MEAP) benefits for which the customer may be eligible

The length of time the bill has been outstanding

The circumstances that resulted in the past due bill

Hardships that may result from lack of utility service

Any other relevant factors related to circumstances of the customer

A utility may refuse to offer or negotiate an alternate payment plan if the following circumstances exist:

You have failed to meet the terms of any alternate payment plan during the past 18 months

You have committed fraud

You have committed theft of utility service

You denied utility access to equipment located on customer’s property

If you are behind on your utility bills:

You should contact the utility right away to request a payment plan

You should not wait for the turn-off notice

Learn more in our Get Help section.

If the utility will not work out a reasonable payment arrangement, and you dispute the decision, you can file a complaint with Public Service Commission. Learn more about how to file a complaint here.

Customer disputes may include the following:

The utility refused to discuss a payment plan with you

You disagree that you have missed payments under a prior payment plan during the previous 18 months

You disagree that you committed “fraud” or that the circumstances cited be the utility should be considered “fraud”

You disagree that you committed theft of utility service.

You disagree that you denied utility access to equipment on your property