Home Energy Assistance

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
(Formerly known as Fuel Assistance)

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. Home Energy 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. (Some restrictions apply.)

HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE UPDATE

NSCAP’s Home Energy Assistance staff is hard at work, however, our office remains closed to the public. As a result, we will not be meeting face-to face with clients until further notice. If you wish to drop off your completed fuel assistance application and documents, please be sure that all adults have signed the application and that you have provided your current phone number and email address then place in an envelope with your name and application number on it and drop in our mailbox to the right of our door.

If you have received an application in the mail, please review and sign the application and return it to NSCAP in the envelope provided. You may also fax legible supporting documents to (978) 531-1297 or email them to fuelassistance@nscap.org.

A staff member will review your application and contact you by phone or by mail if additional documentation is needed. Please allow up to 45 working days for the application to be reviewed and a notice to be sent to you. If you have any questions, please call: (978) 531-0767 extension136 or call (978) 531-8810 to hear the status of your application and payments to your heating vendor throughout the season.

The Home Energy Assistance Program was created to help individuals and families stay warm and save money when winter cold arrives. Home Energy 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 32% on your utility bills, year round. (Some restrictions apply.)

NSCAP generally begins accepting re-certification applications for assistance beginning September 1 until April 30th. Applications are mailed to prior applicants on a rolling basis beginning in late August for those who pay for oil, kerosene or propane heat and late September for those who pay for gas or electric heat. We begin scheduling appointments for first-time applicants who pay for oil or propane heat in October, in November for those who pay for gas or electric heat and in late December for those whose heat is included in the cost of rent.
 
Application Status:
To hear the status of your application please call (978) 531-8810 or (978) 531-0767 x 136 or you may email fuelassistance@nscap.org for more information.

 

Schedule an Appointment/Questions:
Please call (978) 531-0767, ext. 136 to schedule an appointment or for any questions.
For More Information Or To Schedule An Appointment (from October 1 to April 30)
Call: (978) 531-0767 Extension 136 or email: fuelassistance@nscap.org
To Hear The Status of Your Application Call: (978) 531-8810

Home Energy Assistance Income Eligibility

 

Household Size Maximum Gross Annual Income*
1$40,951*
2$53,551*
3$66,151*
4$78,751*
5$91,351*
6$103,951*
7$106,314*
8$108,676*
*60% of State Median Income Effective July 2021

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 Home Energy 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 Home Energy 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 Home Energy 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

NSCAP Financial Assistance Form
NSCAP Child Support/Alimony Form
NSCAP Formulario de Documentacion de Manutencion de Menores/Pension Alimenticia
NSCAP Declaracion deAyuda Financiera
Unemployment Verification
DTA Award Letters
IRS Transcript
Social Security Award Letters
Veterans Benefit Verification

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 Home Energy Assistance benefit are the responsibility of the applicant.

Home Energy 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Preguntas Frecuentes

Additional Resources

Contact the Following Agencies for Details and Requirements for Availability of Additional Funds:

Catholic Charities 
(978) 740-6923

The Good Neighbor Energy Fund
(800) 334-3047

Salvation Army 

United Way of Massachusetts
Mass 2-1-1
Dial 2-1-1
St. Vincent de Paul (Check with Local Churches)

Saving Money

Households that are determined eligible for Home Energy 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 Home Energy Assistance season to apply for the discount as well.

NGRID Electric Discount Application

NGRID Gas Discount Application

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:

Utility Protection Guidelines
NGRID Senior Protection Form
NGRID Gas and Electric Financial Hardship Statement

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.

NGRID Arrears Management Information

NGRID Electric
(888) 211-1313

NGRID Gas
(800) 233-5325

Saving Energy, Saving Money

If your household qualifies for Home Energy 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.

Tips for Saving Energy and Staying Safe

*Attention First Time Applicants*

 

You may now start a pre-application online. The application portal will help you assess your possible eligibility for the Home Energy Assistance,

 input your household data, submit documents in support of your application and submit the pre-application. Upon submission,

 a Case Manager will contact you to review your application and determine any additional information that may be required.

* If you have previously applied for Home Energy Assistance, please call (978)531-0767 x 136 and  an application will be mailed to youThe portal is only available for first time applicants at this time.

                                                                                                                                 

About NSCAP

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.

Get Involved
Contact Us

119 Rear Foster Street, Building 13
Peabody, MA 01960

978-531-0767

978-531-1012