We want everyone to be able to be warm and safe this winter.
With increasing home heating costs, there is growing concern in communities throughout our region about how individuals and families will heat their homes this winter. This article addresses two of the main issues, safety and affordability.
Safety Tips and Information
When energy costs rise, some people may try using fireplaces that haven’t been cleaned or checked in years, wood stoves that aren’t in a safe place in the home, ovens, or other ways to stay warm that can lead to fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Learn about Winter Home Heating Safety: Learn how to keep your family warm and safe this heating season.
From the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, this page has information about how to safely use different types of heating sources, including electric space heaters, woodstoves, fireplaces, natural gas heaters, and more.
Help with Heating Costs, Repair, and Energy Efficiency
Community Action Fuel Assistance Program
Each year, Community Action helps thousands of low-income Franklin and Hampshire County families to stay warm during the winter by connecting them with assistance for their heating bills. Available to both homeowners and renters, the Fuel Assistance Program helps people who are eligible afford their home heating expenses. Program eligibility is determined by family size and annual household income.
Community Action Pioneer Valley also provides the following assistance for low-income households: Heating System Repair, Electric Efficiency Audits, and Weatherization.
The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund
This program is available to any Massachusetts resident who cannot meet a month’s energy expense because of temporary financial difficulty and is not eligible for state or federal energy assistance. To be eligible, income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state’s median income levels, which is quite a bit higher than eligibility guidelines for Fuel Assistance, so you may qualify even if you think you don’t!
Fuel Assistance and Utility Relief Programs Info from The Town of Athol
A list of additional resources from The Town of Athol