heating

If You're Struggling to Pay Your Heating Bills, Help May Be Available

Action for Boston Community Development says that while many are experiencing difficulty paying for heat this winter, there are resources to assist many people in need

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Frigid temperatures and this weekend's potential storm are concerning developments for people having a tough time heating their homes.

"We haven't maybe seen the snow accumulation that we're used to, but everyone is still definitely very much scared that they're not going to be able to heat their homes," said Andrea Mendoza of Action for Boston Community Development, or ABCD.

An average gallon of heating oil in Massachusetts is $3.43, nearly double from last year. To fill a tank, it costs about $800.

Natural gas is cheaper, but costs are still up 30% — raising the average bill $287.

"The pandemic is still raging on, and folks are really struggling to meet their basic living expenses," Mendoza said.

ABCD runs one of the state's largest fuel assistance programs. Applications are up because of the pandemic and economic crisis. But so is the amount of available help.

"There has been an increase in funding this year from the American Rescue Plan, which has helped increase benefits to a maximum of $1,650," Mendoza said.

The money is available through April for families and individuals who live at or around the poverty line. The best way to find out if you qualify is to contact Action for Boston Community Development.

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