How to Apply for the Citizens Energy Fuel Assistance Program

Citizens Energy Corporation helps struggling households in Massachusetts and several other states that experience cold winter temperatures. The corporation runs the Citizens Energy Natural Gas Heat Assistance Program to provide assistance with natural gas bills for Massachusetts residents. The Joe-4-Oil Heat Program offers free oil to families in Massachusetts and other qualifying states. The programs generally begin accepting applications in the fall. Since funding is limited, assistance is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Citizens Energy Natural Heat Assistance Program

The program is only open to Massachusetts residents who heat their homes with natural gas. Online applications aren't available. You must call the Citizens Energy Natural Heat Assistance Program hotline at 866-427-9918 to request an application in the mail. When you call the hotline, you'll need to leave your name and mailing address. Complete the application and mail it back along with a copy of your natural gas bill. You won't need to provide pay stubs or other documentation. If approved, Citizens Energy will make a payment of $150 directly to your gas company.

JOE-4-OIL Heat Program

The Joe-4-Oil Heat Program provides assistance to households in Massachusetts and 16 other states and districts, including:

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Vermont
  • Washington D.C.
  • Wisconsin 

Apply by calling 877-JOE-4-OIL (877-563-4645). An agent will ask some basic questions about your income, bills and household size to determine your eligibility. You're eligible if you've experienced a financial hardship that leaves you unable to pay for oil. There are no specific income limits for the program. The agent will mail you an Income Verification Form to complete and return. Applications take about four to five weeks to process. If approved, you'll receive a one-time voucher for 100 gallons of oil. You'll need to contact your oil dealer to set up the delivery.

About the Author

Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.