Ways to reduce home heating costs

Utility payment plans Massachusetts’ investor-owned utilities offer flexible payment plans, regardless of income, and potential balance forgiveness. Enrolling in a payment plan can protect constituents against shutoffs for up to 12 months with most utility companies. Please refer to the list at the bottom of this email for information to contact your utility.*

Income-eligible assistance programs

For customers with a household income not greater than 60 percent of the state median income, Massachusetts utilities offer a discount on a customer's total utility bill as well as individualized payment plans known as arrearage management plans (AMPs) where a customer can have some or all of their outstanding balance forgiven.* These customers can also apply at any time throughout the winter season for fuel assistance through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Community action agencies can help walk constituents through the process of applying and answer any questions they may have.

Residents between 60 to 80 percent of the state median income are encouraged to see if they qualify for financial help from the Good Neighbor Energy Fund.

Winter heating shutoff protections

Residents are protected by Massachusetts law (MGL c.164, § 124F) from having their gas or electric utilities shutoff from November 15, 2022, to March 15, 2023 if those services are used for heating. Residents will still be responsible for any unpaid bills when the shutoff ends. The Attorney General's offices encourages customers to enroll in a utility payment plan, which also provides shutoff protections, and avoids accumulating debt.

Energy efficiency audit

The nation-leading Mass Save energy efficiency programs run by the Massachusetts investor-owned utilities can provide constituents with information about how to reduce their energy use. This should lead to lower bills over time. In addition, income-eligible customers can participate in Mass Save's low-income offering, known as the Low-Income Energy Affordability Network.*

Municipal aggregation programs

Residents in communities with active municipal aggregation programs may consider switching from their electric company to the aggregation. The long-term electricity contracts used in these programs, typically set for three years’ time, result in stabilized electricity costs that are not subject to the same short-term price fluctuations (although upon program renewal, prices may increase). We encourage all communities to consider whether municipal aggregation is a good fit for them moving forward.

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