Home Heating Information

For Homeowners and Tenants

There are a number of resources you can turn to for fuel help during the winter.  You can find help through discounted utility rates, state programs, home improvement services, and more.  While we provide links to these resources, each provider determines eligiblility on their own, and we can not guarantee acceptance.

Finding Discounts


Utility Companies offer discounted rates to low income residents who meet certain requirements.


Oil cooperatives save members money and offer discounts to low-income customers and seniors.


What to Expect During an Oil Delivery

The worker who deliveres your order of home heating oil must give you a receipt.  The receipt needs to include the price per gallon, the name of the oil dealer, your name, and a meter stamp of the volume of oil delivered.

If you have a complaint against your oil dealer, or feel you were victimized, contact the Attorney General's Office at 617-727-8400 or via the link.


Other Fuel Resources


Heating Your Rental Unit

Your landlord needs to provide you a working heating system.  The system must heat living spaces to at least 68 degrees during the day (from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.), and at least 64 degrees at night (from 11:01 p.m. to 6:59 a.m.  Your landlord needs to meet these heating requirements during the "heating season" which starts on September 15 and ends on June 15.  Your hot water also needs to be at least 110 degrees Farenheit and at most 130 degrees Farenheit.

If you have problems with your heat:

  • Check the thermostat and make sure it's on
  • Make sure you have oil in your tank
  • Check to see if your gas service was turned off
  • If you can't figure out the issue, call the property manager or owner
  • If the property manager or owner is unresponsive, call Inspectional Services at 617-846-4344, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Tips for Tenants:

  • If there are circuit breakers, utility meters, or oil tanks in the basement, your landlord needs to give you access to the basement.
  • You don't have to call your landlord before calling Inspectional Services, but you should give your landlord a chance to make repairs.
  • For non-emergency repairs in your apartment, your landlord needs to give you "reasonable notice".  Reasonable notice is at least 24 hours.  Emeregency repairs do not have this requirement.