Here are programs and resources to get help with utility bills.
Call the Cold Relief Heatline at 800-632-8175 (voice/TTY) to find out where to apply for Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP), Weatherization (WAP), and the Heating System Repair and Replacement Program (HEARTWAP). The Fuel Assistance Application also serves as an application for the Weatherization program and the Heating System Repair and Replacement Program (HEARTWAP).
Fuel Assistance – Also known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), is a government program to help low-income families and individuals pay their heating bills during the winter. The fuel assistance program is administered through local community action programs (CAPs).
Eligibility for fuel assistance is based on having low income and low assets. Find out which CAP serves your area.
All electric and most gas companies have low-income discount programs. You automatically qualify for discounts if you receive food stamp benefits, MassHealth, SSI, fuel assistance, veterans’ services, if your child is in Head Start or the school lunch program. These discounts can save you 20 -35% on each bill. To apply for discounts, call your gas and electric companies to request an application. If your utility company is not listed, look on your utility bill for the Customer Service number. You may also call the Department of Public Utilities toll-free at 1-877-886-5066 for information.
Electric and gas companies also offer free “energy conservation surveys” which may pay for insulation, water-saving devices, low-energy lights and provide useful tips on how to save money on utility bills. For information on either program, contact your utility company’s customer service department or the Consumer Division of the Department of Public Utilities at 1-877-886-5066. Additionally, water and sewer companies often offer discounts to people with disabilities, regardless of income or assets. Call your water company to inquire.
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund – Operated by your local Salvation Army Office, is for those with limited income that are not eligible for fuel assistance. The fund most often helps families or individuals facing an unexpected short-term financial crisis. Your immigration status does not matter for this program. You may apply by directly contacting your local Salvation Army Service Center. If you do not see a Service Center in your local area, please call 339-502-5900.
Phone: 800-334-3047 (serving area codes 508, 617, 781 and 978) or 800-262-1320 (serving area code 413).
Find a local Salvation Army office
Mass 2-1-1 – An Information resource for finding help in paying heating bills. Just dial 2-1-1 for assistance. Available 24 /7.
Citizens Energy Oil Program – Allows families to purchase one-time deliveries of discount home heating oil per heating season of up to 200 gallons of home heating oil at 40% of the retail price. Cash accepted only as payment.
Citizens Energy / Distrigas Heat Assistance Program (CEDHAP) – Gives a utility bill credit to eligible households who heat with natural gas.
Verizon Telephone Bill Discounts and Services – Available for Verizon Customers in Massachusetts. Directory assistance exemptions and operator assistance exemptions are available if you are blind or low-vision, deaf-blind, mobility impaired, or cognitively impaired. Eligible persons with disabilities earning under $50,000 a year may be entitled to receive a phone or adaptive communication equipment from Verizon. To get more information on any of these programs, call the Verizon Center for Customers with Disabilities.
Phone: 800-974-6006 (v/TTY).
Department of Telecommunications and Cable – State agency that can assist consumers with disabilities with disputes or issues that they have with their landline telephone and or cable service.
Online Complaint Form
Lifeline – Federal program offering telephone discounts to low income consumers. You are eligible for Lifeline if you participate in MassHealth, Fuel Assistance, Food Stamps and some of the other public benefits. Those who qualify may receive discounts of up to $30 on telephone hook-up charges (Link-Up) and can reduce monthly bills on basic phone service (Lifeline), depending on where you live. These discounts are currently set at $9.25 per month. Lifeline does not apply to long distance or cell phone service.
To apply for Lifeline, call your local telephone company.
USAC LifeLine Program : 888-641-8722
FCC Consumer Help Center Accessibility Info – Provides accessibility information for phone, TV, and telecommunication services.
Fact Sheet last updated on: 5/6/2020