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Council on Aging

Posted on: September 27, 2022

Resources Available to Residents To Aid with Rising Energy Costs

PUBLIC NOTICE – 9/27/22 at 1:20PM

The following resources are available to Westford residents and businesses to help curb the ongoing increased utility costs that are expected during the upcoming winter months:

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 constituents against shutoffs for up to 12 months with most utility companies.  Please contact National Grid directly to inquire about this program.

Income-eligible assistance programs 

For customers with a household income not greater than 60 percent of the state median income, 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.  Community action agencies can help walk constituents through the process of applying and answer any questions they may have. Constituents between 60 to 80 percent of the state median income are encouraged to see if they qualify for financial help from the Good Neighbor Energy Fund

Winter heating shutoff protections 

Your constituents 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.  Constituents will still be responsible for any unpaid bills when the shutoff ends.  The Attorney General's office encourages 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 constituents 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.*   

Municipal aggregation program

Westford currently has an active municipal electric aggregation program.  The long-term electricity contracts used in these programs typically result in stabilized electricity costs that are not subject to the same short-term price fluctuations (although upon program renewal, prices may increase). For additional information on our program please click HERE    

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