Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Do You Need Help Keeping Warm This Winter? Would You Like A Discount On Your Monthly National Grid Utility Bills?
New England winters can be harsh and rising energy costs make it harder to keep up with the cost of heating your home year after year. Fuel Assistance is a federally funded program that helps income eligible households pay their winter heating bills. Eligibility is based on gross household income and the number of household members. Renters and homeowners may receive a benefit of up to $1,100 paid directly to their vendor whether they heat with oil, propane, natural gas or electricity, even if heat is included in the cost of rent.*
The Fuel Assistance Program was created to help individuals and families stay warm and save money when winter cold arrives. Fuel Assistance pays for deliveries made between November 1st and April 30th. For over 50 years, thousands of households in Salem, Peabody, Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Middleton and Topsfield have relied on NSCAP to help keep their home warm in winter. If your household meets the income guidelines below, you may be eligible for payments towards your winter heating bills and enrollment in National Grid’s discount rate which can save you up to 29% on your utility bills.
In addition, upon request, NSCAP’s Energy Conservation specialists will visit your home to conduct an energy audit to determine what upgrades will make your home more energy-efficient. All at no cost to you. Contact the Fuel Assistance Program today to learn more about how we can help you keep warm this winter. We look forward to hearing from you!
* Some restrictions apply
Fuel Assistance Income Eligibility
|Household Size||Maximum Gross Annual Income*|
If you live outside of NSCAP’s service area, please call (800) 632-8175, or you can visit the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, and find the energy assistance agency nearest you by visiting the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) webpage.
Applying for Fuel Assistance
First Time Applicants
First-time applicants are required to have a face to face interview. Beginning October 1st, NSCAP schedules appointments for first-time applicants who pay for their own heat. Call (978) 531-0767, ext. 136 for an appointment. You will receive instructions and a list of documents needed to process your application. At your appointment, a Case Worker will input your household data, sources of income, housing costs and heating and utility account information and answer any additional questions you may have about Fuel Assistance. If additional items are needed to process your application, you will receive a letter explaining what is missing. Additional documents may be mailed, faxed or scanned to your worker.
Previous Fuel Assistance Applicants
Previous year applicants can simply sign their application and return their updated information by mail. Beginning in late-August through October, applications are mailed to households that received benefits last season. If you have moved or need to have your application re-printed, call (978) 531-0767, ext 136 to have a copy sent to you. Follow the instructions that accompany the application and return your signed application and required documentation to NSCAP as soon as possible to avoid delays in payments to your vendor. Note: Applicants are required to update their application and verify income annually.
Helpful Links to Document Your Income
The Application Process
When your application is received, it will be date-stamped and entered into our system for tracking. Your application will be reviewed by our staff and if additional items are needed, you will be notified within 25 working days of receipt of your signed application in a letter that explains what is missing. After all of the required information is received, your application will be certified and a determination letter will be sent to you within 45 working days of receipt of your completed application and documentation. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important that you file early.
To check the status of your application, remaining benefits and payments made on your account call (978) 531-8810.
Determination of Eligibility and Payment to Vendors
Once your household is determined eligible, NSCAP notifies you and your vendor of the amount of your benefit. Your oil or propane vendor will be instructed to make deliveries up to the amount of your benefit. NSCAP instructs that heating utilities including NGRID gas and electric and municipal electric submit bills (for usage from November 1 through April 30) directly to us. NSCAP makes payments directly to your heating vendor or utility up to the amount of your benefit. Benefits are paid for deliveries/services from November 1st through April 30th.
Note: any bills in excess of the Fuel Assistance benefit are the responsibility of the applicant.
Fuel Assistance relies on federal funding each year. Benefits are available on a first come, first serve basis, so it is important to complete your application as soon as possible.
Contact the Following Agencies for Details and Requirements for Availability of Additional Funds:
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund
Households that are determined eligible for Fuel Assistance are automatically enrolled in National Grid’s low income discount rate, a savings of 29% of the supply charges of your National Grid bill. The following forms may be used prior to the start of the Fuel Assistance season to apply for the discount as well.
Protection from Shutoff Keeping the Heat and Lights On
Income-eligible households are protected from an electric or gas shut-off: if an infant (under 1 year old) or someone seriously ill lives in the home; if all household members are 65 or older; and during the winter months. Low income households can also receive help making their home energy efficient. When facing termination of a heating-related utility, households can protect themselves and avoid a shut-off if they meet certain and conditions. See below:
Contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities:
Behind on Your Bills? Reducing Utility Bills?
If you are having trouble keeping up with high winter utility bills, consider contacting National Grid to create a Payment or Budget Plan to help level the cost of keeping your home warm throughout the year. In addition, eligible National Grid customers may resolve past-due debt through the Arrears Management Program (AMP). Click the link below to learn more, or call NSCAP at (978) 531-0767, ext 134 for additional information.
Saving Energy, Saving Money
If your household qualifies for Fuel Assistance, you may be eligible to receive Weatherization improvements that will help stretch your benefit even more. Homeowners and renters may also receive help to repair or replace in inefficient or inoperable heating system. Contact NSCAP’s Energy Services Program for more details at (978) 531-0767, ext 118.
NSCAP provides social services that enable low-income families and individuals to obtain the skills and knowledge they need to become economically self-sufficient, civically engaged, and to live in dignity and decency.
119 Rear Foster Street, Building 13
Peabody, MA 01960