Recent bitterly cold temperatures have made this a challenging winter for everyone, but it hits those in need hardest – rising energy costs can make it difficult for Massachusetts residents to get through the winter warmly. To offset this and ensure all citizens make it through the winter safely and comfortably, the Commonwealth offers energy assistance programs to help qualified households pay for heating fuel, utility repairs and replacements, and other energy efficiency projects.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a valuable resource for residents in need. Commonly known as fuel assistance, LIHEAP provides financial assistance to renters and homeowners by paying a portion of their winter heating bills. Eligibility for the program is based on household size, and the combined gross annual income of every household member must not exceed the 60% of the Estimated State Median Income. Households can find out if they qualify by referring to the Income Eligibility and Benefit Level Chart, and by calling the local agency in charge of the fuel assistance program.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides assistance to low-income homeowners and renters, enabling them to lower their energy costs by making their homes more energy efficient. The program saves households an average of $350 per year in energy costs. To qualify, homeowners and renters must be eligible for LIHEAP, or have a family member receiving Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To apply, visit or call the agency that serves your area.
Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program (HEARTWAP)
The Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program (HEARTWAP) provides emergency heating system repair and replacement services to the primary heating system of low-income homeowners; those eligible for LIHEAP are eligible for HEARTWAP services. Between October and March, free emergency repairs are available for homeowners whose heating systems are not working, and in some cases heating systems will be replaced if they are unsafe, inoperable, and irreparable.
For additional information about LIHEAP, Weatherization, or HEARTWAP, please call the HEATLINE at (800) 632-8175, or call 211 to find the agency that serves your area. For additional information on other energy programs and services in Massachusetts, please visit the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Home Heating & Assistance website.