There are several programs in Massachusetts to help low-income households pay for their heating fuel and other utilities. Government help is available to pay for fuel, weatherization, and heating system repairs. In addition, low-income customers can get utility discounts, utility shutoff protection, and help from non-government programs.
For more information about Massachusetts energy assistance programs, click on a program name below:
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), usually called fuel assistance, helps low-income households in Massachusetts pay their heating bills. LIHEAP eligibility is based on gross household income. Both homeowners and renters in Massachusetts may apply for this low-income energy assistance program. Most fuel assistance households also qualify for weatherization, utility discounts, and emergency furnace repairs for homeowners. Use the online Fuel Assistance Eligibility Check to see if you might qualify for fuel assistance benefits.
Citizens Energy heat assistance programs give financial help to low-income Massachusetts residents who cannot afford to pay their heating bills. Citizens Energy has a program for people who use heating oil, and a program for people who heat with natural gas. The Oil Heat Program gives a voucher for free heating oil to low-income families and elderly residents of Massachusetts. The Citizens Energy Distrigas program gives a gas bill credit to eligible Massachusetts households who heat with natural gas.
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund helps people in need pay for their winter heating fuel and other energy bills. The Fund is for people who are facing a short-term financial crisis and do not qualify for government fuel assistance programs.
Utility arrearage programs help Massachusetts households pay overdue utility bills. Utility arrearage programs help households prevent utility shutoffs or restore utility service that has already been shut off. The programs offer payment plans, debt forgiveness, or a combination of the two.
Utility discounts are lower rates charged to low-income Massachusetts customers for gas, electricity, and telephone service. Massachusetts law requires regulated utility companies to offer discounted rates to customers who receive public assistance benefits and meet income limits.
Massachusetts laws prevent utility companies from shutting off service to households in special situations. These include senior households, low-income families with infants, and people with serious illnesses who cannot afford to pay their utility bills. During the winter months, utility companies cannot shut off heating-related utilities for households with a financial hardship.
MassSAVE is an energy savings program for Massachusetts homeowners and renters. MassSAVE offers energy tips and information about free home energy assessments, energy-saving products, and loans, rebates, and other incentives for energy-saving home improvements.