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Massachusetts Law About Winter Heating

Minimum Heat Requirements

Workplace

MGL c.149, s.113 Listed workplaces "shall be properly heated during the period from October fifteenth to May fifteenth."

Minimum Heating Guidelines, Mass. Division of Occupational Safety. Outlines the minimum temperatures required in various types of workplaces. Specific temperature requirements for various types of workplaces.

Residential

105 CMR 410.201 Temperature Requirements. Regulation requires temperatures of at least 64 degrees at night and 68 degrees during the day from September 15 to June 15. Temperatures should not exceed 78 degrees. There can be exceptions, so be sure to read the regulation for details.

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility

105 CMR 164.051 "Each building shall be equipped with a heating system that is sufficient to maintain a minimum temperature of 68° F throughout the building during cold weather. Portable heaters are prohibited."

Restrictions on Heat Shut-Off

220 CMR 25 Utility Shutoff Procedures. Provides particular protection to infants, the elderly and to others during serious illness and during the winter.

What to Do When the Heat Goes Off, A. Joseph Ross. Information for tenants on what to do if you have an isolated problem or if your heat is chronically not working.

Winter Moratorium Protection Against Shutting Off Heat, Mass. Legal Services, Nov. 2012. Explains the provisions of 220 CMR 25.

Heat Assistance

Attorney General's Guide to Heating Assistance, Jan. 2007. Pamphlet briefly describes when utilities may not shut off service, what to consider when signing a contract, and sources for assistance.

Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program, Citizens Energy. Site provides a brief introduction to the program. "The Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program allows people in need to purchase low-cost home heating oil. If you need help, please call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-JOE-4-OIL (1-877-563-4645) or contact your local fuel assistance agency."

Cold Relief Information, Mass. Dept. of Housing and Community Development. Includes fuel assistance income eligibility chart, energy saving tips, and information about programs.

Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP): An Overview, Mass. Resources. This site is produced by an independent not-for-profit organization, and provides the clearest explanation of fuel assistance in a question and answer format. Areas include eligibility, benefits, application procedure, and how the benefit works.

Good Neighbor Energy Fund, Salvation Army. "The Good Neighbor Energy Fund helps qualified residents in Massachusetts pay electric, gas, and oil bills when, due to temporary financial difficulty, they can't meet their energy expenses and they aren't eligible for state or federal assistance." Site includes both how to contribute and how to get assistance.

Home Heating Consumer Assistance, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Site includes help with your utility bill, fuel assistance information and winter heating tips.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Mass. Dept. of Housing and Community Development. "Known commonly as Fuel Assistance, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides eligible households with help in paying a portion of winter heating bills." Site includes everything you need to know about fuel assistance, including forms, eligibility guidelines and procedures.

Utilities Advocacy for Low-Income Households, National Consumer Law Center, 2007. Online version of the 136-page book, covers obtaining service, restoring service, receiving financial aid, forms, and appendices of regulations and procedures.