COVID-19 Resources: Utilities

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

New federal program for rental assistance- ERAP (replacing RAFT as the primary funding for rental assistance through Metro Housing Boston)
Eligibility: 80% AMI Income limit
Income reduced by at least one family member due to COVID-19 pandemic
Utilities: up to $2,500 of utilities overdue - You can reapply if you've received less than $2500 in utility assistance in the last year.
Need an update on an application?  If you applied for assistance to Metro Housing Boston online and it’s been more than 3 weeks, you can contact Metro Housing Boston to get a status update.  Email or call 617-544-9330. If you applied through WATCH, please contact Daisy at or 781-570-4423.

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.

Salvation Army

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 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.

Eversource Programs

Payment Plan If you missed payments and have a past due balancePay off your balance  over a period of time with no interest and no money down. Call 866-861-6225.

Budget Billing  Manage your budget and have consistent bill each month. Set up budget billing and pay a fixed rate each month based on your average annual usage. Call 866-861-6225.

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.

New Start  Eliminate portions of your overdue balance by making payments each month. Call 866-861-6225.
Can only be used once in a lifetime.

Discount Rate Receive a discount on your monthly energy bill if you qualify.   Call 866-861-6225.

National Grid

Payment Plans 

Energy Efficiency 

Get free or reduced priced weatherization and energy efficiency measures for renters and homeowners. 

Go to or call 978-459-6161.

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 or

Other Resources