Delivering oil in Dorchester 

ABCD’s energy programs keep vulnerable households safe in the life-threatening cold of New England winters…and make a dramatic contribution to reducing energy costs for low-income families in communities statewide.

Fuel Assistance

In the harshest winter in decades, with epic cold and snow descending on the Boston area, ABCD was asked by the Commonwealth to step in and provide fuel assistance to Malden, Everett, Medford, Melrose, Woburn, Winchester and Stoneham after the organization serving those towns experienced financial difficulties. ABCD continued to serve low and moderate-income residents of Boston, Brookline and Newton, receiving a total of more than 26,000 fuel assistance applications from those three cities and towns plus its expanded service area north of Boston.

With prolonged colder than normal temperatures as well as a total Boston snowfall of 108.6 inches – the most ever recorded – low and moderate-income families struggled to heat their homes. Public transportation shut down for long periods, keeping workers from jobs and pay checks. The federal allocation provided a maximum benefit of $1,095, down from $1,385 the previous winter due to the lack of a state supplement. Despite lower oil prices, that amount filled an oil tank only 1½ times and Massachusetts fuel assistance customers were out of oil before Christmas. Gas and electric rates climbed 30 to 50 percent creating sticker shock when bills arrived. Once again, low and moderate-income families were forced to choose between heat, food and medicine.

Donations from The Boston Foundation, United Way, Brookfield Renewable Power, RBC Wealth Management and many caring individuals helped provide emergency assistance when fuel aid ran out. Utility partnerships allowed ABCD to help hundreds of low-income residents benefit from arrearage forgiveness and discounted rates.

Energy Conservation Programs

Since 1981, when ABCD began implementing weatherization and other energy-saving measures in low-income households, those programs have saved low-income consumers and the public more than $175 million in energy costs.

ABCD’s leadership in energy conservation for low-income households continues following award-winning achievements with partner Action, Inc. in a major utility initiative that brings energy efficiency improvements to hundreds of low-income housing developments in Massachusetts.

With funding of approximately $30 million from Massachusetts utility companies and in partnership with Low-income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN), ABCD provides energy conservation services to more than 12,000 Massachusetts low-income, multi-family housing units annually. Services include heating replacements, electrical upgrades, refrigerator replacements, shell insulation and air sealing.

ABCD’s traditional Weatherization program provides home weatherization services for approximately 1,000 families annually along with 250-plus heating system replacements.

With funding from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, ABCD and partners installed renewable technologies such as air source heat pumps and pellet boilers in single and multi-family housing.

The ABCD Energy Programs investment this year was $48,375,700. Through those funds, payments were made to 140 fuel vendors to keep more than 16,000 households warm and multiple energy conservation programs were carried out.