Low income customers in Massachusetts can get financial assistance and grants for paying utility and heating bills. In addition, there are a number of discounts offered to qualified customers on their energy bills, as well as conservation programs. Below you will find information on the various assistance programs offered by utility companies across Massachusetts.
Berkshire Gas – Another option is the Residential Arrearage Management Program (RAMP). This program provides financial assistance and cash grants to help eligible low to moderate income customers who currently have outstanding heating bills in arrears. Eligible low-income customers may qualify for forgiveness of past due bills for natural gas service, so the bills are basically eliminated. Program participants receive credits on their utility bills to their past due account up to a lifetime maximum of $3,000. This will only occur once all program requirements have been met. Contact your local Community Action Council to apply for help or to learn more. Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC), North Adams 413-663-3014, Great Barrington 413-528-1947, Greenfield 413-774-2318, Amherst 413-774-2310, Pittsfield 413-445-5671
Berkshire Gas – The company can provide Discounted Residential Rates. Basically in effect discounted non-heating and heating delivery charges are available to help low-income customers who qualify for any means-tested state of Massachusetts or government/public assistance programs. Call 1-800-292-5012
Berkshire Gas runs its own Energy Efficiency Program. Heating customers of this utility company are eligible for 100% of the installed cost of the following energy-saving measures: Instrumented Air Sealing, Wall Insulation, Duct Insulation, Crawl Space Insulation, Floor and Attic Insulation, Programmable Thermostats and/or Pipe Insulation. Dial 1-800-944-3212
Berkshire Gas - Several other payment plans and government assistance programs are offered for low income families, seniors, and people who live on a fixed income. More.
Boston Massachusetts – They also run the Senior Home Emergency Home Repair Program. This is a resource that may be able to help seniors prepare their homes and or residences for the winter. The program is a specialty of DND's Senior Homeowner Services unit. DND is assisted by a number of neighborhood-based agencies, including United Southend Settlements, NOAH; ESAC, and Kit Clark. Call 617 635-0600
Citizens Energy / Distrigas runs for its customers the Heat Assistance Program (CEDHAP). This assistance program provides a $150 utility or heating bill credit to eligible households who heat their homes or apartments with natural gas. The program is run by Citizens Energy and it is funded by Distrigas. Call 1-866-427-9918.
City of Boston provides city residents with assistance from the HeatWorks program. A few non-profit agencies partnered together to create this assistance program, which is currently available for qualified senior homeowners who are 60 years of age and older and who are considered low income. Services offered to Boston Massachusetts families may include: replacement of broken heating system with an energy efficient one and technical assistance from DND construction specialists, weatherization /Insulation, advice, and other energy conserving measures. Call 617-635-0338
Columbia Gas - This energy company operates in several states, including Massachusetts. One of the main programs is the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, which is offered by the Salvation Army. Other financial assistance and grants can be provided by the government from LIHEAP and weatherization. Click here for more details.
Essex County Gas Company – They may be able to provide a discount on energy bills. Up to a twenty percent discount is offered. Residential heating rate will change from R-03 to R-04. Secondary users (non-heat) will change from R-01 to R-02.
Good Neighbor Energy Fund is another program that covers the entire state of Massachusetts. The assistance fund is available to any Massachusetts resident or family who, because of temporary financial hardship or difficulty, cannot meet a month's energy or heating bill expense and if they are not eligible for any other state or federal government energy and heating bill assistance programs. Grants for emergency assistance are available from your local Salvation Army Service Center. You can also call for more information or to find out where to pick up an application from. Please call the following numbers; 1-800-262-1320 (serving area code 413) or 1-800-334-3047, which is serving area codes 508, 617, 781 and 978 in MA.
Government assistance - Programs that are available in Massachusetts for low income residents include weatherization, home energy assistance, and a furnace/heating system repair resource. Most of the cash assistance is for households with children, seniors, and those with a crisis situation. Continue with low income Massachusetts energy bill assistance.
Programs for heating bills - The demand for assistance during the fall, winter, and spring months is very high. Low income families and the elderly in Massachusetts have access to a number of public and private resources, cash grants, and conservation programs. More Massachusetts heating bill assistance.
HEATWAP – This financial assistance and grant program provides low-income, working poor and fuel assistance-eligible homeowners with assistance for the following expenses, bills, and items. Heating system cleanings, Heating system repair/replacement services, Free attic and/or side-wall insulation, air sealing, weather-stripping and other winterization energy repairs, Free energy, health and safety audit, and much more. Call the following numbers and agencies to apply for help and learn more. Berkshire Community Action Council, Pittsfield (413) 445-5671, Great Barrington (413) 528-1947, North Adams (413) 663-3014. Interested individuals can also decide to call Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions. Franklin County & (413) 774-2318 Hampshire County & (800) 370-0940.
KeySpan Energy Delivery – For existing customers who receive the R32 and R4 discount rate they may also be able to receive free weatherization services. An extensive amount of aid may be able to be provided. For example a renter or homeowner may be able qualify for up to $4,500 in cash grants to be applied to weatherization services. The exact types of services offered can include a free energy audit; attic, floor and wall insulation; air sealing; heating system replacement and repairs, and more. Call your local Community Action Agency to apply for help.
KeySpan Energy Delivery. Another program known as On Track currently works with 350 low-income 1-2 family heating customers. These customers are currently receiving public government assistance and the program can help them resolve financial difficulties and hardships. Each participant in the On track program receives both a financial and energy home study kit that includes audio tapes and work books and individualized customer services tools like: household financial analysis, information on how to develop an affordable payment plan for past due and future energy bills, information as well as direct referrals to financial assistance programs and non-profit organizations, assistance with applications for government and non-profit benefits and support groups. In addition to those components many customers in the program will also become eligible for bill forgiveness up to $400 on their monthly heating or energy bill. Dial 1-800-503-5172
KeySpan Energy Delivery has programs for customers in Boston, Essex and Colonial Gas Companies. Individuals may receive a discount on their heating or utility bills if they are a low-income residential customer. However the customer must also participate in the following public government assistance programs. Food Stamps, SSI, AFDC, Medicaid, E.A.E.D.C, Refugee Resettlement, Fuel and Heating Bill Assistance or Massachusetts Veterans Service Benefits. Call Keyspan and ask about the discount.
Littleton Electric Light Department – Some customers may qualify for the Senior Citizen and Disabled Customer Discounts. What this program does is it waives the base customer charge for senior citizens (age 62 and over) and handicapped persons in the company’s service area. Dial 978-486-3104
Massachusetts Electric, which can be reached at 1-800-322-3223, offers qualified customers a monthly discount on their utility bills. The assistance is available to qualified customers who have an income at or below 200% of the federal government poverty level and who receive financial assistance or cash grants from certain public or government benefit programs.
Massachusetts Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program is a state-funded energy assistance program for individuals and families who are at risk of homelessness or who may be facing an eviction. The assistance program may help people to pay overdue heating bill balances for eligible families. Eligibility requirements include the applicants needs to have sufficient income to support future expenses, Homeless family lacking permanent residence or at risk of homelessness, Meet 50% of median household income guideline for household size, their current rent or mortgage payment cannot exceed 50% of their income, Family of two or more with dependent child under 21 or disabled adult, and they need to be able to document their hardship.
Massachusetts state wide low-income rate assistance program. Over a dozen electric, gas, and heating companies offer utility rate discounts totaling nearly $40 million per year to customers. In total the discounts can range from 20 percent to 42 percent off the low-income customers energy bill. Low income households earning less than 175 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines, or receiving one of several means federal or state government tested programs, including LIHEAP, Food Stamps, TANF and SSI are eligible for this discount. Call your utility company and refer to it.
Massachusetts statewide program known as Energy Bucks may be able to help qualified Massachusetts customers with providing them fuel assistance, energy discounts, grants for paying heating and energy bills and efficiency services for their home or apartment. Call 866-537-7267 to apply for help or to get more information.
Massachusetts statewide energy conservation program. Customers of electric and gas companies that are regulated by the state of Massachusetts who currently receive the low-income discount rate on their energy bills may also be eligible for free energy efficiency or conservation services that may include appliance efficiency services, energy audits, electric baseload measures, floor, attic and wall insulation, air sealing and heating system repairs and/or replacement. Contact your local Community Action agencies or call 1-800-632-8175to learn more.
Middleborough Gas and Electric Department offers elderly customers a Senior Discount. This discount is for customers who are 60 years of age and older. These individuals can apply for an additional 5% senior discount on their gas bills, which will be in addition to the 10% prompt payment discount that is provided to a customer when the energy bill is paid within 10 days and the account is current. Call 508-947-1371
Nantucket Electric – This energy company offers customers a monthly discount that have a household income that is considered low income and who receive assistance from federal or state of Massachusetts assistance programs. Dial 1-800-322-3223
National Grid - They operate in many northeastern states, including Massachusetts. If you are struggling with paying your utility bill, call them to learn about options available to you. They can provide qualifed customers with payment plans, help people pay older energy bills, offer weatherization, and much more. National Grid can also help Massachusetts families apply for government programs such as LIHEAP. Read more National Grid utility assistance.
North Attleborough Electric Department – A discount rate is available for residential customers from the Residential Assistance A 5. The reduced bill is available to customers upon verification of a customer’s receipt of any means tested government program or public benefit. Or if the customer is determined to be eligible for the federal government low income home energy assistance program the discount can be provided. To learn more or to apply for help call 508-643-6300 or dial toll free 1-800-394-2662.
NSTAR – A free energy saving consultation may be offered to low income and customers who are currently receiving a NSTAR Discount Rate. The consultation may even include the installation of conservation measures and refrigerator metering, among other services. If you think you may be able to qualify for this program and would like more information on how to get help, please contact your local Community Action or Heating Assistance Program in your town or city.
NSTAR – A program known as R2 Discount Rate is available for Massachusetts customers. It will provide them with a discount rate for customers who receive certain government means-tested benefits or who qualify for government fuel assistance programs. Call 800-592-2000 to apply or learn more.
NSTAR - They also provide grants, discounts and payment plans for paying bills. Learn more.
NUStart has an arrearage management program can help with older unpaid energy bills. The program was created to help customers pay their current and past electric bills. WMECO will help you develop a monthly budget to get back on track. Each month the customer will need to make a timely payment, and when they do they will earn credits to pay off your outstanding energy bill and WMECO will take a portion of what you owe off your old balance on past unpaid bills. The customer must have a balance of at least $100 on their bill and be 60 days overdue. Call the NUStart team at 800-286-5844 (toll-free) for more information or to enroll for help.
Unitil (Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company) – Energy conserving measures may be offered to families and individuals who currently receive the low-income discount rate on their energy bills. Some of the free energy conservation measures offered may include energy audits, attic and wall insulation, electric baseload measures, appliance efficiency services, air sealing and heating system repairs and replacement. Call 1-800-632-8175 or contact your local Community Action agencies.
Unitil/Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company – Yet another Massachusetts energy company that runs the Discount Rate Program for residential customers. Applications are available online in English and Spanish. The program is for people who receive other government aid. Call 1-888-301-7700
Unitil/Fitchburg Gas can also arrange payment plans and help customers apply for government assistance. Other services may include budget billing and waivers on past due balances for qualified Massachusetts customers. More details.
Western Massachusetts Electric – This electric company offers customers a Residential Discount Rate assistance program. The electric company offers a discount rate on energy bills for low to moderate income-eligible residential customers who participate in certain state government and/ federal government assistance programs. For more information or an application call at 781-4300. You can also call your local community action agency. Or click here for additional financial resources from WEMCo.