Energy Oil Program
The Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program has delivered millions of gallons of discount home heating oil to poor and elderly households in Massachusetts and other cold weather states since 1979. This unique program helps protect needy families from volatile heating oil prices, which often leave households having to choose between heating the home and paying for other life essentials, such as food, health care, or clothing.
What is the Oil Heat Program?
In partnership with CITGO, Citizens Energy works with thousands of oil heat dealers and local fuel assistance agencies in 24 states to provide deliveries of home heating oil to those in need. This year the Oil Heat Program provided eligible families a one-time delivery of 100 gallons of home heating oil.
Why is the Program Needed?
In states like Massachusetts, heating oil prices have increased considerably since 2000, yet the wages for low-income families and individuals have remained stagnant. The federal government provides some help to low-income families struggling to stay warm during the winter through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), but this assistance historically has reached only about one in five eligible families. And many other working poor families who do not qualify for federal assistance programs still need help from time to time.
Low-income families have little choice but to cut back on food, medicine, and other life essentials when their home energy costs rise. Bad choices lead to bad outcomes. When the heating bills of poor families rise, studies show they often reduce their spending on food by about the same amount, and it is no surprise that cases of undernourished children increase by about one-third during winter months.
The Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program works to provide struggling families with a bit of relief when temperatures hit freezing and high heating oil prices force families to make difficult and often unsafe trade-offs.
The Citizen's Program will start accepting applications on January 24th, 2011