COVID-19 Resources: Utilities
Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
Fuel Assistance (Oil, Gas or Electric Heat Program)
The Fuel Assistance Program provides financial assistance to low-income residents who either rent or own. The assistance is paid directly to the energy provider, such as the oil, gas or electric company. In our area, Community TeamWork in Lowell distributes the federal fuel assistance payments. Fill out this form to apply.
How it works:
The assistance is paid directly to the energy provider, such as the oil, gas or electric company. The program pays the energy companies based on an income chart per heating season. If heat is included in your rent, you can still be income eligible and they will reimburse some the money you spent at the end of the heating season by sending you a check.
Once you are approved the first year, you will receive a letter to update your information each year. If you’re approved, you also receive 10% off your electricity bill going forward.
What’s required for documentation:
Photo ID, proof of address and one person in the family's social security number (can be a child) and proof of income (last 4 weeks of income). There is a zero income form for those who have no income. For those who are paid in cash, you must provide a letter from your employer stating how much you earn per week and how much you made in the last 4 pay periods. If you are being provided with oil, you will need to provide an oil company and account number. If you don’t have this, you will be asked to set this up through a list of approved oil companies. If your household uses gas for heat, then a gas bill needs to be provided and an electric bill.
What’s new this year?
Community TeamWork is now open for accepting applications.
In the past, WATCH has helped people fill out their applications for fuel assistance in person and we have turned in the applications to Community TeamWork. This year, Community TeamWork will be assisting people over the phone with their applications.
English speakers: To apply, please call Community Teamwork at 978-459-6161.
After Jan. 1st: Call or visit for assistance applying for help with heat or electric bills. Open 9am-3pm. Applicants must call ahead to make an appointment with Jennifer.
33 Myrtle St, Waltham
Please make payment plans only if you are certain you can comply with the agreement. If you need help reviewing the options, please contact Suzi@watchcdc.org or call 781-570-4394. Do not sign a contract or verbally agree to a contract you do not fully understand.
The person whose name is on the bill must be the person to apply.
Income-Based Assistance Programs Designed for lower-income customers, you may be able to participate in these programs if you meet income and eligibility guidelines as set by your state.
Shut Offs - Gas and Electricity
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU)
The DPU prohibits utility companies from shutting off service from November 15 to March 15, if anyone in the home:
- Is under 12 months or older than 65,
- Has a serious or chronic illness like diabetes, ADHD, asthma, or
- Cannot afford to pay for heat for the winter months (November-March, and sometimes to April).
Please contact your utility company for more information.
Internet and Phone
Internet Essentials - This plan gives you $9.95 internet connection. Call to see if you qualify. 1-855-846-8376
Comcast offers two plans for people that are over 60 days late in paying their bill. The New Start and The Matching Program, both forgive some portion of debt but the key is not skipping any month. Otherwise individuals are out of the program and they can't apply again. It also avoids disconnection for lack of payment.
Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet. Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 toward their bill. You can only use Lifeline for either phone or internet, but not both. To get Lifeline, find a company near you.
If you receive Food Stamps or Mass Health, you may be eligible to receive a free cell phone with a certain number of free monthly minutes. You can apply online at www.safelinkwireless.com or www.assurancewireless.com.