Energy assistance programs help low-income residents of Worcester, Massachusetts, pay for their heating fuel and other utilities. Government programs help 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.
Energy & Utility Assistance Programs
- IN WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS -
Click on a program name for more information:
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), usually called fuel assistance, helps low-income families pay their heating bills. Eligibility is based on gross household income. The program is for homeowners and renters. Most fuel assistance households also qualify for weatherization, utility discounts, and emergency furnace repairs for homeowners. Use the Fuel Assistance Eligibility Check on the MassResources.org web site to see if you might qualify for benefits.
Citizens Energy heat assistance programs help people who cannot afford to pay their heating bills. The Oil Heat Program gives each eligible household a voucher for free home heating oil. The Citizens Energy/Distrigas Heat Assistance Program gives a utility bill credit to eligible 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.
Worcester homeowners and renters who get LIHEAP fuel assistance, SSI, or TAFDC can have their homes weatherized for free through the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). After weatherization, homes are easier to heat, and fuel bills are lower.
Utility arrearage programs are programs to help families with overdue utility bills. The programs help families 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 arrearage programs in Massachusetts include Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), utility payment plans, and utility company Arrearage Management Programs (AMPs).
Massachusetts gas, electric, and telephone companies offer reduced rates to low-income customers who receive public assistance benefits and meet income limits. Eligible customers get a 20% to 40% discount on their gas and electric rates, and a discount on basic local telephone service and installation. Utility companies enroll eligible customers automatically, or customers can apply directly to their utility companies: National Grid (1-800-322-3223), NSTAR (1-800-592-2000), Verizon (1-800-870-9999).
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.