Governor Increases Fuel Assistance; Orders Utilities to Stop Shutoffs

Governor Deval Patrick is dramatically increasing the amount of money set aside for those having difficulties paying for home heating fuel throughout the state.

At the same time, he ordered the Department of Public Utilities to ban heating shut-offs for another month for low income residents.

This is an important and substantial bit of aid coming at the end of an extremely expensive winter heating season despite the fact it was not a frigid winter.

For Chelsea residents, both the added money for home heating oil and gas as well as the shut-off extension, will make it easier for the working poor and low income residents to survive the recent fuel price run-up.

The maximum deliverable fuel benefit for Chelsea residents has been increased to $1,095 as result of the governor’s action while the maximum utility benefit will increase to $635 from $525 earlier this year.

This brings the total of fuel assistance coming into Chelsea for low income residents in 2012 to $3,387,450 which includes a near to $500,000 increase in funding.

The funding is distributed by Community Action Programs Intercity, Inc.

The governor added the funding to ease some of the crying need of the low income and the poor, who are having trouble heating their homes and apartments and then fall behind on their electric bill as well which leads to the shut-off.

The fuel assistance funds provide eligible households with help in paying a portion of their winter heating bills.

It is funded through the US Department of Health and Human Service

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