Heating Fuel Assistance Programs MA
  • By ezHomeHeating.com
  • In Blog
  • Posted Jan 4, 2015

Heating Fuel Assistance Programs in MA

Several Heating Fuel Assistance Programs are offered in the state of Massachusetts to help low-income residents pay for heating fuel. We are compiling a list of these programs in this post to serve as a central resource for this information.

1) MA LIHEAP

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides assistance to eligible households to pay a portion of their heating bills. The benefit amount to each eligible household is largely dependent on the size of funding provided to the state by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Eligibility for this program is based on the size of your household and the gross annual income of each household member (18 years or older). This household income should not exceed 60% of the estimated state median income. Details about the state median income level is available at the Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development website.

First time applicants should apply in person at their local fuel assistance agency. Each household should apply each year but applications are mailed to you after the first year.

If you are found eligible, your local fuel assistance agency will notify your heating dealer and pay them directly. The fuel assistance may only cover a portion of your heating bills and the household is responsible for the remainder of the bills.

2) Citizens Energy & JOE-4-OIL Heat Program

Citizens Energy in partnership with CITGO Petroleum and thousands of local hating oil dealers offers the JOE-4-OIL program which helps out people in financial need by offering them free home heating oil. Each eligible household is offered 100 gallons of home heating at no charge. This delivery is offered only once per household per heating season.

Any household in financial hardship (irrespective of their Citizenship or Immigration status) who needs help paying for home heating is eligible. However you can only receive this benefit once per heating season.

Check the JOE-4-OIL website to see if they are still accepting applications for a given heating season. If they are, you can apply by calling 1-877-JOE-4-OIL (Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm). If your application is approved, you will get a heating oil delivery voucher which can be redeemed with an approved heating oil dealer.

More information can be found at JOE-4-OIL website

3) Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund

The Good Neighbor Energy Fund offers assistance to qualified Massachusetts residents who are experiencing a temporary financial crisis and are unable to pay their Heating bills. This is a joint effort between local gas, electric and oil companies and The Salvation Army.

To be eligible for this Fund, you need to be a MA resident and you should not be eligible for any State or Federal Energy assistance program. Furthermore your gross household income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state's median income levels. The guideline for each year's income levels can be obtained at their website.

For 2014, the maximum disbursement per eligible household was $275 per heating season. To apply for this assistance, start by contacting your local Salvation Army.

4) Heating System Repair & Replacement Program (HEARTWAP)

The Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program (HEARTWAP) is offered in the state of Massachusetts to low-income families to help cover their heating system repair and replacement costs. During the winter months, the program primarily helps out low-income families to repair or replace defective or unsafe heating systems on an emergency basis. HEARTWAP can also fund maintenance work during the off-season if funds are available.

Generally households that are eligible for the years LIHEAP program are also eligible for HEARTWAP. Households should contact their local fuel assistance agency and if deemed eligible, the local agency will contract with heating repair companies directly to repair or replace the system.

To learn more this program, check out the HEARTWAP section of the Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development website.

5) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

This program provides eligible low-income households with home energy efficiency services with the intent to lower their energy costs by making homes more energy efficient. The program is funded by the US Department of Energy and managed by local fuel assistance agencies.

Households that are eligible for LIHEAP are generally also eligible for WAP services. However priority may be given to households with elderly, disabled or children under 6 yrs of age. Both homeowners and renters (with the landlord's permission) are eligible for this program.

If selected, an energy inspector will thoroughly inspect your home and evaluate your heating system for efficiency and safety. The inspector may recommend improvements such as air sealing to prevent leaks, additional insulation for your attic, side wall, floors and other energy related repairs. These repairs or improvements will be then be performed by a licensed and insured weatherization contractor.

More information about this program can be found at the WAP section of the MA Housing and Economic Development website.

6) Assistance from local towns

Several towns and localities offer heating related assistance to their low income residents. We are providing a list of programs that we know of. If you don't see one for your town please check with you town hall.

7) Assistance from Non-profit Agencies

If you know of any programs that are missing from this list, please post a comment and we will consider adding them to this post.

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