If you need help paying your energy bill this winter, here are some organizations in Greater Boston that can help:
Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) coordinates the federal program known as LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) for Boston, Brookline, and Newton. To qualify, you need to provide proof of income and other documentation. Residents of other cities and towns can contact the appropriate local agency to apply.
Citizens Energy Corporation offers free heating oil to people in need. You can request an application by calling 1-877-JOE-4-OIL.
The Salvation Army’s Good Neighbor Energy Fund offers one-time grants to Massachusetts residents who are in temporary financial difficulty and are not eligible for state or federal energy assistance. To qualify, you must show that your income falls between 60% and 80% of the state's median.
For help with your electric bill, NStar offers discount rates for low-income residents, as well as special terms for senior citizens.
Discount heating oil is available through a buying co-op at Mass Energy Consumers Alliance. There is no income requirement, and you could save 15¢ to 30¢ per gallon. This program serves almost all Massachusetts communities, with a few exceptions.
In addition to getting help with your bill, make sure you prevent that expensive heat from leaking out of your home. A home energy assessment, available free to homeowners and renters, will point out areas where your heat is escaping and offer strategies for energy conservation. To schedule an assessment, contact Renew Boston or Mass Save.