Help Paying Utilities




Get help with utility bills in Boston

If you need help paying utilities, then the city of Boston can refer people to an extensive array of utility, electric, and heating bill assistance programs. Resources can help the low income pay their bills in a crisis, and also allow people to gain ongoing help for paying utility costs. Find how to get help from the city of Boston, federal government programs, and services offered directly by your utility company.

Boston Heating Oil Co-Ops - These organizations allow residents to ban together to save money on their fuel oil and other energy and utility services. Co Ops may also be able to offer discounts to their members by negotiating deals and lower utility rates. Seniors may also receive lower costs and savings. Two of the leading co-ops are Comfort Crafted Oil Buying Network (dial 1-800-649-7473) as well as Mass. Energy Consumers Alliance (phone 1-800-287-3950)

Low income and seniors in Boston can also apply for the federal government Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This government program can provide qualified lower income households  help in paying summer cooling and/or winter heating utility bills. The program pays applicants with cash benefits of fixed amounts based on the applicants total household income and size. Financial assistance is offered to Boston area residents who are at or below 200% of the federal government poverty guidelines.

Discounts are offered from the National Grid Low Income R-2 Rate. Savings are offered for low-income customers in Boston, and they may be eligible for a discounted rate on their utility bills. To be eligible for a discount, an applicant must meet the following requirements. They need to have a total household income which does not exceed 60% of the state median income level. Applicants need to be a National Grid customer. Individuals must also be currently qualified to receive fuel assistance benefits or are participating in one of the following government assistance programs: Veterans Programs, EAEDC, Food Stamps, WIC, Head Start, Mass Health, National School Lunch Program, Public Housing, School Breakfast Program, surviving parent, Non-Service Pension, Supplemental Security Program.

Seniors can get help from the Elderly Commission. The City of Boston’s Elderly Commission has highly trained staff and processionals who are ready and willing to assist seniors and answer questions with obtaining fuel and utility assistance services. The agencies to call are listed below.

Consumer Affairs - For questions or concerns about your monthly heating bill. Call 617-635-3834

Rental Housing Resource Center - This can advise people about tenant and landlord rights, including utility bills and disconnections. Call 617-635-7368

Boston Inspectional Services Department - If your utilities are shut off, and if you rent and your landlord is unresponsive, the contact ISD right away during normal operating hours 8AM-4PM. Call 617-635-5322.

Massachusetts utility shut off protection laws are in place to help consumers. The state will prevent utility companies from shutting off service to people in special situations. These various state of Massachusetts laws protect low-income families and the elderly, with a focus on infants, low-income families who would be left without heat during the winter months, and people of all incomes with serious illnesses who cannot pay their bills. There are a number of state laws that protect tenants when their landlords do not pay utility bills that are the landlord's primary responsibility.




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