Berkshire Gas financial assistance programs.
Programs provided by Berkshire Gas may be able to provide short term emergency assistance. This can be done while local non-profits or representatives from the company are working with the customer to offer longer term energy savings and conservation. Payment plans, the RAMP program, direct financial assistance and more are all administered to qualified individuals.
Budget Payment Plans will average out a customer’s annual heating/utility bill. This option will offer customers more affordable and consistent monthly payments by averaging the costs of their lower summer bills with their higher winter bills, and it spreads the cost of their bills over the entire year. Most customers, regardless of income, can apply. Phone number is (800) 292-5012.
Low-Income Discount Rate is for non-heating and also heating delivery charges. It is only offered for customers who currently receive aid from public benefit programs. Other clients will be those who are eligible for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or its successor program.
Berkshire Gas Disconnection Protection – This can be offered even when a customer does not pay their bills on time. It is offered when all members of a household are at least 65 years of age or older, or when the customer cannot afford to pay the overdue heating or utility bills because of some form of financial hardship.
Some other conditions include if someone is sixty-five years of age or older and a minor child lives in the home and/or a member of the family/household has a physician-certified "serious" medical illness or condition.
People applying for disconnection prevention also need to be heating their home by using natural gas, and this resource is only offered from late fall to early Spring. In other words, during the cold winter months in Massachusetts.
Berkshire Gas Residential Arrearage Management Program (RAMP) is for people whose income is within sixty percent (60%) of the Massachusetts Median Income Level and who are also facing a hardship.
Any balance on your account could be waived over time. This occurs if you enter into a payment plan, and stay current with it. The resource is for qualified low income customers that are sixty (60) days or more past due, and that have at least three hundred ($300) dollars in unpaid bills on it. This is a one-time only program, and your balance will be waived from credits that are applied to your account.
The Financial Hardship program is for Berkshire Gas customers when someone meets the income eligibility guideline for the federal government Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Dial (800) 292-5012 for more information or to apply.
Overdue balances may be addressed by using installment payment plans. In certain cases, Berkshire Gas may allow up to a minimum of four months for the customer to pay overdue balances and bills on their accounts. Conditions need to be met, including a down payment may be required as well as a fairly consistent payment schedule before the customer fell behind.
Federal government Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to assist eligible low-income households and it can help them pay a portion of their home winter heating bills. LIHEAP is available to both Berkshire Gas homeowners and renters. The exact eligibility and also payment amounts will be determined by gross annual household income as well as family size.
The Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program (HEARTWAP) is another grant program that provides low-income, fuel assistance-eligible homeowners with financial assistance for the following types of expenses and bills. Heating system cleanings, repair or replacement, energy audits, and also it will pay for weather-stripping, attic and/or side-wall insulation, air sealing, and other winterization energy repairs and updates. The HEARTWAP and LIHEAP programs are available through:
- Berkshire Community Action Council of Pittsfield (413) 445-5671, Great Barrington (413) 528-1947, or North Adams (413) 663-3014
- Community Action of the Hampshire, Franklin, and North Quabbin Regions, which can be reached at (413) 774-2318
Salvation Good Neighbor Energy Fund may be able to provide gas, electric or heating oil assistance to Berkshire Gas and other Massachusetts residents with gross household income up to 80% of state median income (SMI) level. All funds need to be immediate paid out for the energy bill that is in arrears. The maximum cash grant paid out per eligible household is $350 per season. Call your local Salvation Army center to apply.
Berkshire Gas also runs an Energy Efficiency Program. This will provide select, qualified heating customers free enhancements. The company will pay for 100% of the installed cost of the following energy-conserving measures, attic insulation, Duct Insulation, Clock Thermostats, Pipe Insulation, Wall and Floor Insulation, and Instrumented Air Sealing. Phone 1-800-944-3212