Fuel Assistance clients also benefit from discounts on utility bills and telephone bills. Over a 12-month period this can mean a big difference to a household. Energy Bucks is a way to let more people know about fuel assistance, discount rates and energy efficiency. Those households who are participants in the Fuel Assistance program are automatically enrolled in energy discount rates from utility companies. Energy bucks can also provide added benefits such as making homes and appliances more energy efficient. Energy Bucks does not give clients cash.
Fuel Assistance works closely with the Weatherization and HEART-WAP programs in coordinating efforts to establish eligibility. Self Help continues to work in conjunction with Citizens Energy Corporation (CEC) with the oil heat program and the Distrigas program. This allows for additional assistance to clients who have expended their Fuel Assistance benefits. Self Help works with volunteer agencies within the SHI service area in providing trained volunteers who take applications within the community and thereby making access to Fuel Assistance more convenient, especially for the senior citizens within each community.
Homeowners and renters, including households whose cost of heat is included in the rent, can apply at the agency in their area. Eligibility is based on household size and the gross annual income of every household member, 18 years of age or older. Household income cannot exceed 60% of estimated State Median Income.
Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program provides heating system services to low-income households.
Weatherization Assistance Program provides a variety of weatherization measures to Fuel Assistance eligible households whose income does not exceed 60% of the State Median Income and who reside in the Self Help service area. Weatherization is the nation’s largest energy efficiency program trained inspectors and crews install measures aimed at reducing the cost of energy for low income families. The WAP program prioritizes applications according to need:
The Self Help Energy Conservation Programs encompass a wide array of services that receive funding from both Government as well as utility company sources.
Current Energy Conservation Programs include:
HEART-WAP PROGRAM (HWAP)
Columbia Gas of MA
National Grid Electric & Gas
NSTAR Electric &Gas;
New England Gas This federally and public utility funded program offers a variety of heating system services to fuel assistance certified clients which may include:
Emergency heating system repairs
Heating system replacements
Oil Tank replacements
Limited Asbestos removal
Clean and tune program (when funding is available)