Who Fuel Fund Helps | Affordable Home Energy for Marylanders

We Help Marylanders Afford Home Energy

People We Help

The Fuel Fund serves vulnerable Marylanders in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Prince Georges, Montgomery and the Southern Tri-Counties. The Fuel Fund served more than 10,000 households in fiscal year 2015. The target population is families and individuals in Central Maryland who live at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. A representative Fuel Fund family has an income under $16,000 for a family of three, or is a senior or individual with a disability living on a fixed income. 
 

The Need Has Never Been Greater

Despite the relatively good economic climate in Maryland, the high cost of energy continues to be a major burden for citizens living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Levels (FPL), according to a report by Fisher, Sheehan & Colton published in May 2013 in Public Finance and General Economics.  The range varies from those with incomes below the 50% FPL paying 40% of their income for their energy consumption to those between 185% and 199% paying 8%.  This contrasts sharply with those above 200% who can expect to pay from 6% down to well below 1%. 

So what happens when such a significant portion of a household’s income is dedicated to basic energy costs? Eventually they will fall behind on their bills, turnoff notices will be issued, and many will have their service terminated.  

Fuel Fund families face tough choices every day. Like Mrs. Burch, an elderly woman who decided that her husband's medicine was more important than hers, so she stopped taking her medications. They couldn't afford the rent, food, utility bills, and medical expenses. Something had to go.

Or like Mr. Connor who was involved in a serious on-the-job accident. Out of work for four months, the family of four quickly went through their savings trying to close the gap between worker's compensation and their monthly budget. Before long their savings were drained.

These are just two of the families who were helped by the Fuel Fund. Our clients are proud; they need a hand up, not a hand out.

 

Over Half the People We Help Are Children

Child reading a bookThe Fuel Fund of Maryland partners with advocates for the homeless, the hungry, the disenfranchised, because often our clients are a turnoff away from joining them. Over 50 percent of the people we help are children. Last year, more than 10,000 children under the age of 19 were helped by Fuel Fund donors.

Donations help the Fuel Fund of Maryland keep people in their homes connected to life-sustaining energy. That energy takes many forms: natural gas, electricity, home heating oil, wood and propane—whatever it takes to keep people safe and secure in their homes in the icy winter and scorching summer.