Need Help Paying for Home Heating?
Keeping your heat on in the winter is important. NEFWC’s Fuel Assistance program assists low-income households in Springfield and Northern Worcester County by subsidizing and accessing discounts for winter heating bills from November through April.
Also, sometimes when heat bills are too high, people use stoves, barbecue grills, improperly vented portable heaters, which can overload electrical circuits. These methods are dangerous and can cause fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you are having trouble paying to heat your home. New England Farm Workers' Council (NEFWC) offers a Fuel Assistance Program* for families that qualify.
* The NEFWC Fuel Assistance Program is also known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
How the Fuel Assistance Program Works
If you qualify, NEFWC will make utility payments to the primary heating vendor (such as the oil, gas or electric company) or if heat is included in the rent, direct payment to the client will be made. All income eligible households may receive discounts of up to 35% on their gas and electric bills.
NEFWC runs the Fuel Assistance Program for Springfield, MA, and northern Worcester County. If you live in a city or town not served by NEFWC, please call the Cold Relief Heatline at (800) 632-8175 to find your local agency.
How to Qualify for Help Paying Heating Bills
NEFWC and other administering agencies determine household eligibility based on a number of factors including but not limited to gross household income and the number of household members.
To find out whether your household qualifies, you can review the eligibility requirements, or you can call 413-272-2209 (Springfield area) or 978-342-4520 (northern Worcester County area) or stop by the NEFWC office nearest you for information on how to apply for fuel assistance.
To complete your application, you may need some or all of the following materials:
- Recent copies of your utility bills.
- Current proof of income for all household members (pay stubs, unemployment benefits, Social Security/SSI benefits, Pensions, etc. for the 4 weeks immediately preceding the date of application.
- Full copies of current gas and electric bills (or final bills if service has been terminated).
- Proof of present address (e.g., rent receipt, lease or deed, property tax bill).
- Birth Certificates and social security cards for all household members.
- Proof of Citizenship or Qualified Alien Status for any household member not born in the United States or its territories.
- Current picture ID of the head of the household.
Additional Resources for Fuel Assistance Clients
NEFWC fuel assistance/LIHEAP clients are also eligible for the Massachusetts Weatherization Assistance Program, a year-round home energy service that can provide funding for energy conservation projects such as:
- Air sealing to reduce infiltration
- Attic insulation
- Sidewall insulation
- Floor insulation
- Pipe and/or duct insulation
- Limited energy-related repairs
LIHEAP clients may also be eligible for the Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program (HEARTWAP), which provides heating system repair and replacement to low-income households. This program is available year-round as funding is available.
About New England Farm Workers’ and LIHEAP
New England Farm Workers’ Council (NEFWC) has managed the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the City of Springfield since 1982 and for 27 cities and towns in North Central MA since 1987. LIHEAP assists low-income households, including homeowners and renters, in meeting the high cost of home heating, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.