Commonly referred to as fuel assistance, LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) is a federally funded program that provides eligible households with assistance in paying a portion of winter heating bills. Eligibility is based on income requirements set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
How to apply
Residents of RHSO member towns can apply for fuel assistance at one of two agencies, SMOC (South Middlesex Opportunity Council) in Framingham or CTI (Community Teamwork) in Lowell. The list below shows which RHSO member towns are served by SMOC and which towns are served by CTI:
Click here to link to SMOC’s fuel assistance page and learn more about the fuel assistance program and how to schedule an appointment with a SMOC staffperson to complete an application.
Click here to link to CTI’s fuel assistance page and learn more about the fuel assistance program and how to schedule an appointment with a CTI staffperson to complete an application.
Additional Statewide Resources
If you already have LIHEAP assistance but are still struggling with heating costs, or you are not eligible for LIHEAP but still need help with your utility costs, there are other resources that may help you. The following resources are available to any household in Massachusetts:
Joe 4 Oil/Citizens Energy provides assistance to households who are having trouble paying oil or natural gas bills. You can learn more about this program and how to apply by visiting the Citizens Energy website - http://citizensenergy.com/assistance-programs, or by calling 1-877-JOE-4-OIL for assistance with oil heat, or 1-866-GAS-9918 for assistance with natural gas heat.
The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund is sponsored by the Salvation Army and is available to any Massachusetts household who cannot meet a month’s energy expense due to temporary financial difficulty, but is not eligible for LIHEAP. To learn more about eligibility or to apply for assistance, you can call 1-800-334-3047 or visit the Good Neighbor Energy Fund’s website - http://www.magoodneighbor.org/assistance.html.
The Mass Energy Consumers’ Alliance offers a discount heating oil service that provides oil at a price 15-30 cents below the statewide average. Any Massachusetts resident can sign up for this service. Visit Mass Energy’s website to learn more - http://www.massenergy.org/heating-oil.
Additional Town Specific Resources
Some RHSO member towns also offer additional assistance with heating bills to their residents:
Concord Cares is an emergency oil disbursement program providing up to 75 gallons of emergency fuel to Concord households in crisis. To apply, please contact:
- Bonny Wilbur, Community Services Coordinator, 978-318-3034; or
- Concord Council on Aging (for Concord residents over the age of 60), 978-318-3020; or
- Concord Fire Department, 978-318-4888 or Concord Police Department, 978-318-3400 for after hours Emergency Heating Needs.