Resources Ahead of High Energy Costs This Winter
This winter, natural gas prices are expected to increase across Massachusetts due to global conflict and other factors. Due to the state’s reliance on natural gas, the price increases are expected to impact residents throughout the Commonwealth, resulting in higher utility bills. To help deal with the higher costs this season, Representative Driscoll would like to share the following resources available to constituents, should you need them.
In addition to these resources, constituents are welcome to contact Representative Driscoll's office directly. To reach Representative Driscoll, please feel free to send a message to William.Driscoll@mahouse.gov.
Utility payment plans
Massachusetts’ investor-owned utilities offer flexible payment plans, regardless of income, and potential balance forgiveness. Enrolling in a payment plan can protect customers against shutoffs for up to 12 months with most utility companies. Please refer to the list at the bottom for information to contact your utility.*
Income-eligible assistance programs
For residents with a household income not greater than 60 percent of the state median income (represented in dollars here), Massachusetts utilities offer a discount on a customer's total utility bill as well as individualized payment plans known as arrearage management plans (AMPs) where a customer can have some or all of their outstanding balance forgiven. These customers can also apply at any time throughout the winter season for fuel assistance through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Community action agencies can help walk residents through the process of applying and answer any questions you may have.
Serving Milton: Quincy Community Action Programs (QCAP) (website)
Offers the following programs: Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP), Heating System Repair and Replacement, Weatherization,
Serving Randolph: Self-Help Inc (website)
Offers the following programs: Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP), Heating System Repair and Replacement, Weatherization
Winter heating shutoff protections
Residents are protected by Massachusetts law (MGL c.164, § 124F) from having their gas or electric utilities shutoff from November 15, 2022, to March 15, 2023 if those services are used for heating. Residents will still be responsible for any unpaid bills when the shutoff ends. The Attorney General's offices encourage customers to enroll in a utility payment plan, which also provides shutoff protections, and avoids accumulating debt. As stated above, most utilities offer payment plans for up to 12 months.
Energy efficiency audit
The nation-leading Mass Save energy efficiency programs run by the Massachusetts investor-owned utilities can provide residents with information about how to reduce their energy use. This should lead to lower bills over time. In addition, income-eligible customers can participate in Mass Save's low-income offering, known as the Low-Income Energy Affordability Network.
Milton Community Electricity Aggregation (CEA) (website)
Milton residents may consider switching from their electric company to the Milton Community Electricity Aggregation (CEA). The long-term electricity contracts used in municipal aggregation programs, typically set for three years’ time, result in stabilized electricity costs that are not subject to the same short-term price fluctuations (although upon program renewal, prices may increase). Residents are encouraged to consider whether municipal aggregation is a good fit for them moving forward.
*Utility contact list (Investor-owned)
Eastern Mass: 866-861-6225