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MASSACHUSETTS RATEPAYER FUNDED PROGRAMS

CURRENT PROGRAMS
Rate Assistance
  • Low-Income Discount
    • Eligibility: Customer of natural gas or electric IOU with income at or below 60% SMI, not exceeding 200% FPG, and/or recipient of certain means tested programs (SNAP, Head Start, MassHealth/Medicaid, etc.)
    • Monthly discount of varies by utility from 20% to 42% off natural gas and electricity bills
Arrears Management
  • Arrearage Management Program (AMP)
    • Eligibility: Residential utility customer eligible for LIHEAP or low-income discount, owe at least $300 in overdue bills, up to 6 months past due on their bill, agree to payment plan and make payments on time, participate in budget counseling and EE programs
    • Benefits vary by utility, but most set up an affordable payment plan for past due and current charges, won't disconnect service for non-payment if the payment plan is followed; and forgive part or all of client debt if payment plan is followed and forgive all or part of a client debt up to $1,500 - $2,000 if payment plan is followed.
Energy Efficiency
  • Low-Income Demand-Side Management Program (LIDSM)
    • Eligibility: LIHEAP or low-income discount-eligible
    • In coordination with DOE WAP, measures include: attic and/or wall insulation, blower door directed air sealing, heating system repairs and replacements and ventilation
  • Appliance Management Programs
    • Eligibility: Low-income discount recipient or 60% SMI
    • Provides lighting upgrades and replaces high-use electric appliances such as refrigerators and freezers
Participating Utilities
  • Low Income Discount: National Grid, Eversource (formerly NStar and Western Massachusetts Electric), Berkshire Gas, Columbia Gas, Liberty Utilities (formerly New England Gas)
  • Arrearage: Same as for discount
  • LIDSM and Appliance Management: Same as for discount
Annual Funding (2015)
  • Low-Income Discount: $99.8 million
  • AMP: $23.4 million
  • Low Income DSM and Appliance Management: $73.8 million
Households Served (2015)
  • Low-Income Discount: 444,000
  • AMP: 38,500
  • LI DSM and Appliance Management: 29,000
Funding Mechanism
  • Discount: Included in the rates of all distribution utility customers
  • LIDSM: 0.25 mills per kWh charge on electric IOU customers; gas efficiency surcharge on gas IOU customers
Administration
  • Low-Income Discount and AMP: Utilities with Department of Public Utilities oversight
  • LIDSM and Appliance Management: Utilities in coordination with WAP network
LEGISLATION
Authorizing
Other Important
REPORTS / EVALUATIONS