Some fuel providers will offer a budget plan to help residents with the cost of their fuel needs by calculating a monthly payment plan to help avoid a fluctuating and significant increase in their heating bill, especially during the winter months. Additionally, by contacting your heating fuel and oil provider residents can also see if they offer a capped budget plan where residents can lock in additional protection by securing a capped fuel price to avoid paying more in the event the market cost for fuel should increase.
Mayor Sarno states, “With the ever increasing costs of heating fuel and oil, it is important for residents, especially our seniors and those of fixed incomes, to review all of their options to help them budget for their heating fuel and oil needs. Besides fuel assistance programs offered by organizations such as the New England Farm Workers Council and Partners for Community, heating fuel and oil providers sometimes will offer a monthly budget plan to simplify customers heating costs, especially during the winter months, when a significant higher heating and oil bill can adversely impact a household’s ability to pay. It is also important to check in with your heating fuel and oil provider to see if they offer a capped budget plan that can provide additional cost protection by locking into the seasonal heating fuel and oil cost. This way if the cost for the heating fuel and oil market should increase, residents will be locked in to the lower price. These budget plans also provide the security and stability of making a predicable monthly payment to help avoid any balloon payments for heating fuel and oil, especially during the winter months.”
The New England Farm Workers Council / Partners for Community offer fuel assistance for eligible households. To learn more about their fuel assistance program and to review eligibility information please visit their website at: www.partnersforcommunity.org/our-services/fuel-assistance or call to schedule an appointment at (413) 272-2209.
It is also important for residents to check with their heating fuel and oil providers to see if they offer heating system maintenance programs and services. Having an effective and efficient home heating system is important to avoid potential equipment breakdown and heating system failure.
“Just like how we service our cars it is important to also take preventative measures to service and protect the heating systems in our homes. To avoid heating system failures it is important for homeowners to do annual heating system tune-ups and take preventative maintenance steps. These simple efforts will help keep one’s home heating system operating efficiently and help extend the life of the equipment,” Mayor Sarno added.
In addition, the City of Springfield Office of Housing, in conjunction with the New England Farm Workers Council, offers the Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Tasks Weatherization Assistance Program (HEARTWAP) to income-eligible homeowners and renters. HEARTWAP provides emergency heating system repair; pays for the cost of an annual inspection of a fuel burning system; or pays for the replacement of the system, if needed. The program is available to homeowners whose household income does not exceed 60% of the area median income.
Households interested in the program must first contact the New England Farm Workers Council at (413) 272-2209. Once approved, the Office of Housing will coordinate the delivery of this service. If you have already been approved for Fuel Assistance by New England Farm Workers Council and believe you qualify for the HEARTWAP program you may contact the Office of Housing at (413) 787-6500.