A family holding a baby wrapped in a blanket.

Heating Assistance resources in Rhode Island

Photo: EnergyRI

This year, $32 million is expected to be available for qualified Rhode Island residents. Depending upon a family’s income, a household heating with oil or other deliverable fuel could receive from $981 to $1,285 in federal funding assistance. Qualified customers heating with gas could receive from $805 to $970; those heating with electricity could receive from $983 to $1,230.

Rhode Island households can apply for financial awards to help pay for heating bills. The funds will go direct to the utility or fuel company to be credited to customers’ accounts.


This program is called the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and it is a federal program that offers financial relief to households for their heating costs. The program is administered by the RI Department of Human Services in partnership with the Community Action Agencies throughout the state.

 Applications are being accepted NOW through Community Action Agencies. To find the Community Action Agency serving your town or city, go to: Community Action Agencies Near Me | Find Your Local CAA (

To learn more details about the program and how you might be eligible, go to: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) | RI Department of Human Services

Traditionally, funds are released around about Thanksgiving.


Timeline & Application

If you have received heating assistance in the past, you will get a renewal application from the agency that processed your application last time – usually your CAP agency (Community Action Program). You don’t need to fill out a new application. As of today, if you have not received a renewal, contact that agency and request it.

If you did not apply and were awarded funds last year, you should apply now. Before you do, however, you need to gather all the information you will need to do so. And then you need to find your CAP agency. Some have a way for you to apply online such as Cranston CAP, others you will need to go to in-person.

To be ready you should gather your information that you will need to complete your application as easily as you can, not having to go back over and over with additional information asked of you. Here is a sample checklist from BVCAP of what you will need. NOTE: you will need to have copies made ahead of time (at home, or at a store like Staples, or a post office – you cannot leave original documents with your application).

What/Where is my CAP Agency?

These agencies are your resource. They have been processing and helping walk people through their application process for years – all agencies have translators to help, too. Use the one closest to where you are living now:

How much is oil – propane?

The state has a website resource where you can find current and historical price data on heating oil in Rhode Island. If you are not applying for assistance, but know your oil tank needs refilling, there is no reason to believe the price will fall – at all – this entire winter – so, fill up now.


(click on link, above, to view, and for propane costs)

The state’s new consolidated website,, includes a full list of state, federal and nonprofit energy assistance resources for Rhode Islanders. Specifically, in addition to financial awards from LIHEAP to help pay for heating and electric bills, it includes information on:

*Good Neighbor Energy Fund – financial assistance for Rhode Island families who are unable to make energy payments due to unforseen circumstances –

*Keep the Heat On – heating assistance if you have exhausted federal, state, local programs, or are ineligible for them –

*Free Home Energy Assessment Program

*Weatherization Assistance Program – ($1.5 million in weatherization assistance)

*Heating System Repair and Replacement Program.

NOTE: Remember, United Way’s 2-1-1 help program is available to help you figure out what agency you need to contact. Just dial 2-1-1 in Rhode Island.


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