Did you know that approximately 31 percent of households in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have difficulties paying their energy bills last year? That includes keeping their homes warm and or cool. The numbers increase for senior citizens due to the fact that a great deal of our seniors is living solely off of their social security benefits. In addition, households with the lowest incomes are paying 20% or more of their total income on energy related bills. In comparison, energy is considered affordable when a maximum of 6% of the household income goes towards the energy bills.

Thankfully the federal government created the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It was first established back in 1981 in order to help low-income citizens to stay healthy and safe by assisting them with their energy costs. In other heartbreaking news, approximately 20% of households in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts significantly reduce their basic necessities, such as food and medicine, or even went completely without them in order to pay their energy bills.

In addition, 11% of households in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts were forced to keep their homes at unsafe temperatures because they could not afford to pay for heat or air conditioning. This is an area of great concern for senior citizens within our community because they are far more susceptible to healthy related issues when the indoor temperature is too low or too high. The energy assistance programs in Massachusetts do not typically cover your entire energy costs. However, they do help you pay for your heating and cooling bills.

Some areas may receive higher benefits than others, so it’s always a smart idea to check in with the REAS Foundation if you are a senior citizen who lives in Charlton, MA. If you own your own home, you may be eligible for free home improvements that will make your property more energy efficient. For example, you may qualify for home insulation and or air infiltration reduction at no cost. You may even qualify for a free energy efficient furnace. Once again, if you are a senior who owns a home in Charlton, MA please check in with REAS Foundation ASAP to see if you may be eligible for these programs.

Although eligibility for energy assistance and other energy assistance related benefits vary from state to state there are a few rules of thumb to consider. For example, your household’s eligibility is typically based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). The FPG factors in your household income, household size, the primary heating source, and whether any of your household members are under the age of 6, over the age of 60, or are permanently disabled.

REAS Foundation (Residential Energy Assistance for Seniors) is an organization that truly believes in the power of community. We also recognize the fact that the greatness of our community is judged by the compassion, contributions, and care for our most vulnerable members. That is why our mission is to help Charlton, MA seniors with their energy needs. By removing that financial burden, our senior community members can live their lives in the comfort and peace that they truly deserve. We care about the health and well being of our senior citizens. Please note that our organization’s service area is exclusive to the Town of Charlton, MA. Please Contact us to learn more today.