Help is available for those needing assistance with heating bills in Mass

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Help is available for those needing assistance with heating bills in Mass

Navigating winter: a comprehensive guide to home energy assistance programs

Introduction: As winter looms, the challenges of harsh weather coupled with the financial strain of heating expenses can be daunting. Yet, there’s a glimmer of hope for those facing these hardships—the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), also known as Fuel Assistance or LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program). In this updated guide, we’ll explore the various components of HEAP and provide essential information, including key notices to streamline the application process.

Important notices: Apply online starting October 1, 2023!

Program timeline: The HEAP program runs from November 1, 2023, to April 30, 2024. To ensure you benefit from the assistance provided, mark your calendars to apply online, starting October 1, 2023. Importantly, you can submit your application at any time during the season, and the benefits are retroactive, offering relief for previous heating expenses.

Application process: To apply, click here. The online application process is designed for ease and accessibility, allowing you to navigate through the application seamlessly.

Have questions?  Visit the FAQs page for answers to common inquiries.

Understanding energy assistance programs

1. Fuel Assistance: Fuel Assistance remains a cornerstone of HEAP, providing support to eligible households struggling with winter heating bills. Remember, the benefits are retroactive, making it crucial to apply promptly to maximize assistance. Beyond bill relief, participants enjoy discounts on various services, such as telephone, electric, gas, and oil. The program also addresses past due arrearage management, ensuring a comprehensive approach to financial relief.

2. Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP): WAP, available year-round, focuses on income-eligible households. By addressing energy efficiency through services like air sealing, insulation, and weather-stripping, WAP contributes to long-term savings and improved living conditions. The benefits of weatherization extend far beyond the winter season, creating a more sustainable and energy-efficient home.

3. Heating System Repair & Replacement Program (HEARTWAP): Recognizing the year-round necessity of functional heating systems, HEARTWAP provides repair, replacement, and maintenance services to income-eligible households. A reliable heating system ensures warmth and comfort throughout the colder months, emphasizing the program’s commitment to long-term well-being.

4. Appliance Management Program (AMP): AMP, in collaboration with National Grid and Eversource, conducts energy audits to identify and replace inefficient appliances. Going beyond heating appliances, AMP includes refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, washing machines, and dehumidifiers. By upgrading these appliances, AMP contributes to overall energy savings and a more sustainable living environment.

How to access assistance:

For those in need, accessing these energy assistance programs is a straightforward process.

Simply apply online starting October 1, 2023, and benefit from retroactive assistance. Scroll down to find the agency relevant to your location, and if you have any questions, visit the FAQs page for quick and comprehensive answers.

Additional Resources

For utility company problems, please call the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) at 1-877-886-5066. Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.

For limited income households who are not eligible for fuel assistance, please contact The Good Neighbor Energy Fund operated by your local Salvation Army:
In area codes 617, 508, 781, or 978: 1-800-334-3047
In area code 413: 1-800-262-1320

Mass 2-1-1: For non-emergency social service programs, dial 211

MASS SAVE also provides help with energy costs and assessments.

Need more help?

Contact your Community Action Agency.

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