Post Content

110878427

It may be March, but it isn’t spring yet… As recent snow storms prove, Massachusetts winters can be long and unpredictable. Heating your home can be a costly endeavor, but for some there may be help. If you meet the requirements, you may be eligible for home heating assistance. Below you will find three programs that help with rising heating costs. Not everyone will qualify but don’t despair, there may be steps you can take to reduce your energy bills. Check out the energy saving tips below from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

DOER Fuel Assistance Programs

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) known commonly as Fuel Assistance, operates between November 1st and April 30th, offering financial assistance to residents whom are at or below 200% of the federal poverty income level. LIHEAP pays benefits based on household income.

Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program (HEARTWAP). HEARTWAP provides heating system services to low-income households. The program operates year-round through local non profit agencies.

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). WAP assists low-income households in reducing their heating bills by providing full-scale home energy conservation services (also called weatherization). Households qualifying for LIHEAP or receiving Aid to Families with Children or Social Security Income are eligible for WAP.

Call the Cold Relief Heatline at 1-800-632-8175 to find out where to apply for Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP), Weatherization (WAP), and the Heating System Repair and Replacement Program (HEARTWAP).

Here is a consumer tip sheet with more information.

DOER Energy Saving Tips

Windows and Doors

  • Repair broken or cracked glass and putty older windows; check to see that windows close properly and window locks pull sashes together.
  • Make sure doors close properly; repair or replace non-working doorknobs, latches and striker plates.
  • Weather-strip windows, doors and attic accesses; caulk the frames around windows and doors from the inside using a clear, pliable caulk.

Other Air Leaks

  • If you have a fireplace, be sure it is fitted with a tight sealing damper that is closed when the fireplace is not in use. If the fireplace is used infrequently, use a chimney block to eliminate heat loss.
  • Caulk foundation cracks and openings. Make sure kitchen and bathroom vent dampers close properly.

Lights and Hot Water

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent lights. Over its lifetime, a fluorescent bulb will save $30 – $50. Look for rebates from utilities to save you even more. Today’s new compact fluorescent bulbs perform even better than the models of a few years ago.
  • Install low flow showerheads and faucet aerators to save energy and water.
  • Reduce your hot water heater temperature to 120°.
  • Repair leaking hot water faucets, tanks and pipes.

 Other Energy Tips

 

In addition, the following improvements can save more money on heating bills, although they generally require a greater up-front investment of time or money. Contact your gas or electric utility to find any rebates or other assistance that they may offer for such measures. 

  • Install automatic setback thermostats that adjust the heat to your schedule.
  • Insulate attics (especially attics with less than seven inches of insulation), walls, and flooring over unheated crawl spaces or basements.
  • Install exterior storm windows, including cellar storm windows. For windows that are rarely opened, consider installing interior storm windows.
  • If you plan to replace your present oil or gas heating system, select a high efficiency unit with an Annual Fuel Use Efficiency Rating (AFUE) of at least 82 percent. Make sure the heating system is properly “sized” for your home; many systems are too large for the space being heated the result is a considerable waste of dollars.
  • Replace standard curtains with tight sealing, insulated or quilted window coverings.
  • For additional energy savings, DOER recommends that residential customers take advantage of the statewide MassSAVE programs by visiting www.masssave.com.

Visit the Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation for more winter heating help.

 

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Protecting the Workforce: Massachusetts Occupational Safety and Health Programs posted on Jul 30

Protecting the Workforce: Massachusetts Occupational Safety and Health Programs

Happy and healthy workers tend to be more productive, and those traits tend to be found in safe, pleasant work environments. That’s why the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) offers a variety of occupational safety and health programs to protect workers   …Continue Reading Protecting the Workforce: Massachusetts Occupational Safety and Health Programs

Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers posted on Jul 29

Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers

Finding a job can be a daunting task that requires a great deal of preparation and commitment. Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers are here to help residents find the resources they need to launch their   …Continue Reading Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers

Moving to Massachusetts, Part 3: Employment, Education, Insurance, and Taxes posted on Jul 24

Moving to Massachusetts, Part 3: Employment, Education, Insurance, and Taxes

From finding a job and choosing an insurance plan to discovering education options and learning about state tax laws, newcomers to Massachusetts have a lot to consider. Fortunately, state agencies provide resources to help new residents make fully informed decisions for themselves and their family.   …Continue Reading Moving to Massachusetts, Part 3: Employment, Education, Insurance, and Taxes