Fuel Assistance

Fuel Assistance

Fuel Assistance (Home Energy Assistance Program or HEAP) helps you pay some of your heating costs from November to April.

Fuel Assistance - Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

What We Do

This free service helps to pay for part of your winter heating costs by making payments to your fuel or electricity provider.

What do you pay for?

  • oil 
  • kerosene
  • propane
  • natural gas
  • electricity 
  • wood
  • pellets
  • biobricks

Who Are these Services for?

You may be eligible if

1. You are a homeowner or renter in Franklin or Hampshire Counties

2. You meet the income guidelines.

3. At least one person in your household is a citizen, legal resident, or has qualified alien status.

How do I sign up as a first time applicant?

Apply Online Here

Once you have completed an application online, we will contact you for an intake interview.

If you do not have access to the internet:

Call 413-774-2310 & choose Option 1

An intake interview and signature will be required to complete your application.

I got Fuel Assistance last year and I want it again this year.

If you were approved last year, we will mail your application to you between September and December.

  • Online recertification using your application number and PIN.
  • Mail it to us
  • Schedule an appointment to bring your documents in to the office.
  • See our document in Forms, Documents, and Downloads on “What to submit/bring” for more information about completing your application

How long will it take to process my application?

You will be notified by letter of your eligibility within 6-8 weeks.

You can check the status of your application by calling our automated line 413-774-2310 and selecting option 1 then option 4.

What can I expect once I am enrolled in Fuel Assistance?

1. You’ll receive a letter with information on your benefit level (how much money we may put towards your bill).

2. We send notice of your approval to your fuel or electricity provider.

3. Your provider sends your bills directly to Community Action for payment.

4. We send payments within 30 days of receiving the bills.

It may take your provider an additional  30 days to apply payment to your account.

How do I connect someone else to Fuel Assistance?

If you know someone who might be interested in fuel assistance, have them call 413-774-2310 or send them a link to our website.

I need help applying or submitting documents.

To schedule an appointment for assistance making copies, applying online, submit documents in person, etc. click in person help.

Should I continue to pay my heating bills while waiting to be approved for Fuel Assistance?

Yes, you should pay as much of your heating bill as you can while you wait.

If you are approved, the money that you paid for heat usage between November and April may become a credit on your account.

I have another question that isn't covered here.

Scroll down to see Frequently Asked Questions about applying for Fuel Assistance and our policies. If you can’t find the answer below, send an email to liheap@communityaction.us

Apply Here (Aplica Aqui)!

CONTACT INFO FOR THE PROGRAM

Phone: 413-774-2310 or 800-370-0940
Fax: 413-772-2733
Email: liheap@communityaction.us

To report a no fuel or heating emergency between November 1 and April 30: please email us with EMERGENCY in the subject line.

Mail: P.O. Box 1432 Greenfield MA 01302

Dropbox: 393 Main St. Greenfield, MA

Office locations:

Greenfield 

  • Walk Ins or Appointments
    377 Main Street, Greenfield MA 01301

Northampton 

  • By appointment only
    155 Pleasant St, Northampton MA 01060

Orange 

  • By appointment only
    119 New Athol Rd, Orange MA 01364

Ware 

  • By appointment only
    1 Robbins Road, Ware MA 01082

To safeguard your personal information, please do not use email to send confidential details (like a Social Security Number or banking information) to Community Action Pioneer Valley. 

Forms, Documents & Downloads

Facts about Fuel Assistance_English
Facts about Fuel Assistance_Spanish
What to submit/bring
FY 2024 LIHEAP Income Eligibility
Vendor list 2024
Addendum_English
Addendum_Spanish
Child Support Alimony_English
Child Support Alimony_Spanish
Financial Assistance_English
Financial Assistance_Spanish
Odd Jobs Statement_English
Odd Jobs Statement_Spanish
Low/ No Income (>$100/mo)_English
Low/No Income (>$100/mo)_Spanish
Zero Income (18+)_English
Zero Income (18+)_Spanish
Proxy Form_English
Proxy Form_Spanish
SEU Questionnaire_English
SEU Questionnaire_Spanish
Tax Return transcript request form
Permission to Release- English
Permission to Release- Spanish

APPLICATION

You can apply anytime between October 1 and April 30 in person, on the phone or online. If you have applied in the last few years, we will automatically send you a recertification application between September and December. Please complete any updates to your information, sign the back, and mail it to us.


Every case is unique. You will need to provide proof of identity, proof of address, and proof of income among other documents. You can find a complete list of documents you may need to provide here.


We have provided a list of many of the forms you may need for your application in the Forms, Documents & Downloads section of this page. You can download these forms and print them out at home or your local library.


It can take up to 8 weeks to process your application.


The application is FREE! No fee is required to apply, and we offer free help to complete applications.


From November 15th to March 15th the winter moratorium helps protect most low-income utility customers from having their services shut off, but this does not happen automatically.


To get shut-off protection you must complete and submit a financial hardship form, serious medical condition or infant protection form to your utility company. Forms are available on their websites.


You may qualify if you receive Fuel Assistance, SNAP, SSI, Mass Health, Subsidized Housing, Chapter 115 benefits, WIC, EAEDC/TAFDC, or other means tested benefits.


Eversource: 800-286-2828


National Grid: 800-465-1212


Berkshire Gas: 800-292-5012


Municipal-owned utility companies are not required to provide shut-off protection. Please contact your vendor to see if they offer this service.


PAYMENTS

We can only pay a portion of your heating costs, up to the maximum of your benefits. If your heating costs are higher than your benefits amount, you are responsible for paying the difference.


We make payment directly to your provider. It can take up 90 days for payments to be applied to your account. They send the bill to Community Action, often within 30 days of making a delivery to you. We then have 30 days to issue payment to your provider. It may take up to 30 days for your provider to apply payment to your account.


You will only get a check if your heat is included in your rent and your rent is more than 30% of your income, or if you received and paid for a delivery from a provider who is not contracted with us.


You may apply directly with your utility company. If you are approved for Fuel Assistance we take care of this step. We submit your eligibility to your utility company so they will give you a discounted rate (up to 30% off) on your electric and natural gas bills.


If you are approved, and your bills are paid, the money that you paid between November and April will become a credit on your account.


For example, if your heating bill was $200 for November, and you were able to pay $100 towards it, Fuel Assistance would pay the remaining $100, and then it would also pay the first $100, turning YOUR $100 into a credit towards your future heating and cooling bills.


POLICIES

Benefits levels are determined based on home energy costs, household size and combined gross annual income, as well as other factors. You can find the income guidelines and benefit levels for 2023-2024 here.


You can only use vendors who have signed a contract with Community Action’s fuel program. Our list of current vendors is here.


Heat season runs from November 1 to April 30. We can only pay heating costs that are incurred during the heat season. This means if you get fuel delivered before November 1 or after April 30, we cannot pay for it.


Yes, you may be eligible for help if you meet the program qualifications. We encourage you to apply.


Yes, you may be eligible for help if you meet the program qualifications. Housing subsidies will determine specific benefit levels. We encourage you to apply.


If you move, you need to contact us as soon as possible. Your benefits may be able to transfer from one address to another even if they are not in the same service area.


You can only change fuel types or providers once a year when you reapply. If you move and your new address has a different fuel type or utility provider, you can also make that change.


If you do not use all your benefits to pay for your heating costs, we return those funds to the state at the end of the year. Sometimes the state allows us to send remaining benefits to your electric account.


Fuel Assistance is given to any household that has at least one US citizen, or legal resident. If you are not a citizen, but your child is, your family can get some help paying your heating bills.


If you are not a citizen and do not live with any citizen, legal resident or someone with documented alien status, then you are not eligible for Fuel Assistance.


You have the right to appeal any decision made by us. The appeal process is outlined in the denial notice that you received. If you didn’t receive a denial notice or cannot find the notice that explains the appeals process, contact our office so we can explain the appeals process to you.