Public Inquiries: 1-800-632-8175
Local LIHEAP Administering Agency Contacts
LIHEAP FY 2014 Funding (initial release)
LIHEAP Income Eligibility Level
60% State Median Income
LIHEAP FY 2013 Benefit
Heating: minmum - $450 deliverable fuel, $260 gas and electric; maximum - $750 deliverable fuel, $430 gas and electric
LIHEAP Households Served (Estimate for FY 2012 Heating)
LIHEAP Program Dates
Heating and Crisis: November 1 - April 30
Low-Income Rate Assistance
Over a dozen gas, electric and combination IOUs offer utility rate discounts totaling nearly $40 million per year and ranging from 20 percent to 42 percent off the low-income customer bill. These discounts were negotiated during the past two decades and were required to continue under Massachusetts' restructuring legislation. Households earning less than 175 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines, or receiving one of several means tested programs, including LIHEAP, Food Stamps, TANF and SSI are eligible.
R2 Discount Rate
Discount rate for customers who receive certain government means-tested benefits or qualify for fuel assistance.
KeySpan Energy Delivery (Boston, Essex and Colonial Gas Companies)
You may receive a discount if you are a low-income residential customer and participate in the following public assistance programs: SSI, AFDC, Medicaid, E.A.E.D.C., Food Stamps, Refugee Resettlement, Fuel Assistance or Massachusetts Veterans Service Benefits (G.L.C. 115).
KeySpan Energy Delivery
On Track works with 350 low-income 1-2 family heating customers, who are receiving public assistance, to help them resolve financial difficulties. Each participant receives a financial and energy home study kit that includes audio tapes and work books and individualized customer services tools like: household financial analysis, how to develop an affordable payment plan for past due and future bills, information referrals to financial assistance programs, assistance with applications for government and non-profit benefits and support groups. Many customers also become eligible for bill forgiveness up to $400.
Monthly discount for customers with income at or below 200% FPG and who receive assistance from certain public benefit programs. Download an application.
Monthly discount for customers with income at or below 175% FPG and who receive assistance from certain public benefit programs. Download an application.
Western Massachusetts Electric
- Residential Discount Rate
Discount rate for income-eligible residential customers who participate in certain state and federal assistance programs and whose income falls within 175% of federal poverty guidelines as listed on the current Residential Discount Rate
Application form. For more information, call at 781-4300 (within the Springfield calling area) or 800-286-2000 (outside the Springfield calling area) or visit your local community action agency.
Application: English, Spanish
An arrearage management program designed to help you manage your electric bill. WMECO will help you develop a monthly budget. Each month you make a timely payment you will earn credits to pay off your outstanding bill and WMECO will take a portion of what you owe off your old balance.
Eligibility requirements: must be a current WMECO residential customer; must apply for and receive an energy assistance payment; balance must be $100 or more and at least 60 days overdue; income must fall at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines
Call the NUStart team at 800-286-5844 (toll-free) for information or to enroll.
- Discounted Residential Rates
Discounted non-heating and heating delivery charges are available to low-income customers who qualify for any means-tested public assistance programs or LIHEAP and household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
- Residential Arrearage Management Program" (RAMP)
Provides financial assistance to eligible low-income customers with active accounts that have outstanding bills in arrears. Eligible low-income customers may qualify for forgiveness of past due bills for natural gas service. Program participants receive credits to their past due account up to a lifetime maximum of $3,000 once all program requirements have been met. (Some restrictions may apply.) Contact your local Community Action Council.
Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC)
Great Barrington 413-528-1947
North Adams 413-663-3014
Franklin Community Action Council (FCAC)
- Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program
RAFT is a state-funded program for families at risk of homelessness. RAFT helps families who are behind on rent, mortgage payments, or utility bills. RAFT also helps families who have to move but do not have enough money to pay a security deposit, utility startup costs, or first/last month's rent. Families can get up to $3000. Funding is limited. Not all eligible families get help. Eligibility requirements include:
- Homeless family lacking permanent residence or at risk of homelessness
- Family of two or more with dependent child under 21 or disabled adult
- Sufficient income to support future expenses
- Rent/mortgage payment cannot exceed 50% of income
- Meet 50% of median income guideline for household size
- Documentation and verification of address, income, financial hardship and utility arrearage
Citizens Energy / Distrigas
Heat Assistance Program (CEDHAP)
Provides a $150 utility bill credit to eligible households who heat with natural gas. The program is run by Citizens Energy and funded by Distrigas.
Essex County Gas Company
Twenty percent discount. Residential heating rate will change from R-03 to R-04. Secondary users (non-heat) will change from R-01 to R-02.
Unitil/Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company
Discount Rate Program for residential customers who qualify for any means-tested public assistance programs and household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
Applications are available online in English and Spanish.
Littleton Electric Light Department
Senior Citizen and Disabled Customer Discounts
The base customer charge is waived for senior citizens (age 62 and over) and handicapped persons.
Middleborough Gas and Electric Department
Customers 60 years and older can apply for an additional 5% senior discount, which is added to the 10% prompt payment discount when the bill is paid within 10 days and the account is current.
North Attleborough Electric Department
Residential Assistance A 5
Discount rate available upon verification of a customer’s receipt of any means tested public benefit, or verification of eligibility for the low income home energy assistance program, or its successor program, for which eligibility does not exceed 175 percent of the federal poverty level based upon a household & gross income.
Low-Income Energy Efficiency
Customers of Massachusetts regulated electric and gas companies who receive the low-income discount rate may also be eligible for free energy efficiency services that may include energy audits, electric baseload measures, appliance efficiency services, attic and wall insulation, air sealing and heating system replacement. Contact local Community Action agencies or call 1-800-632-8175.
- Energy Efficiency Program
Heating customers are eligible for 100% of the installed cost of the following energy-saving measures:
Crawl Space Insulation
Instrumented Air Sealing
City of Boston
The Department of Neighborhood Development has partnered with Keyspan Energy Corporation and Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD), to create HeatWorks, a program for eligible senior homeowners who are 60 years of age and older, who are owner-occupants of a residential 1-4 family property in the City of Boston, and whose income does not exceed 80% of median family income as determined by HUD ($52,950 for a 2-person household). Services may include: weatherization /Insulation; replacement of broken heating system with an energy efficient one and technical assistance from DND construction specialists
- Senior Home Emergency Home Repair Program
Helping seniors prepare their homes for the winter is a specialty of DND's Senior Homeowner Services unit. DND is assisted by a number of neighborhood-based agencies, including NOAH; ESAC, Kit Clark and United Southend Settlements.
KeySpan Energy Delivery
Free weatherization services for customers on the R32 and R4 discount rate. A homeowner or renter may qualify for up to $4,500 in weatherization services including: an energy audit; attic and wall insulation; air sealing; heating system replacement (homeowners only) and safety inspection after services have been completed.
Contact local Community Action Agency
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs
Special services are available to low income customers to help lower electric bills. For more information, contact your local Community Action agency or visit the MassSAVE website or call 1-800-632-8300.
Energy efficiency specialists will answer your energy-saving questions and determine your eligibility for a Home Energy Assessment. The assessment includes an analysis of your home's energy use, advice for saving energy and rebate offers on recommended energy improvements. Call 800-632-8300 or visit www.masssave.com for more information.
- If you currently receive NSTAR's Discount Rate, you may be eligible for a free home energy consultation, which may include the installation of conservation measures and refrigerator metering. Your rate code and usage information appears on your NSTAR bill. Community Action, Heating Assistance Program or visit the Mass Save web site.
Unitil (Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company)
- Customers of Massachusetts' regulated electric and gas companies who receive the low-income discount rate may also be eligible for free energy efficiency services that may include energy audits, electric baseload measures, appliance efficiency services, attic and wall insulation, air sealing and heating system replacement. Contact local Community Action agencies or call 1-800-632-8175.
Please note these charitable funds are last resort emergency funds with limited resources and limited times of operation.
Good Neighbor Energy Fund
Utilities and utility customers fund the Good Neighbor Energy Fund across Massachusetts. The Fund is available to any Massachusetts resident who, because of temporary financial difficulty, cannot meet a month's energy expense and is not eligible for state or federal energy assistance. Income must be within 60-80 percent of the State Median Income. Apply by contacting your local Salvation Army Service Center. For more information on the fund and how to apply, visit your local Salvation Army Service Center, please call:
1-800-334-3047 (serving area codes 508, 617, 781 and 978) or
1-800-262-1320 (serving area code 413)
UniBank Fuel Assistance Fund
Funds may be available to Blackstone Valley residents who do not qualify under traditional income guidelines, to families who cannot afford the standard 100-gallon minimum delivery amount, or to those families who may have already reached their annual limit for fuel oil benefits. For more information on applying for a grant, contact the Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. by calling 508-754-1176. You may also apply in writing or in person at 484 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Worcester, MA 01608.