Massachusetts law about utility service

A compilation of laws, regulations, and web sources on utility service law.
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Massachusetts laws

MGL c. 25 Department of Public Utilities
MGL c.148, s.38J Residential oil tank safety
MGL c.175, s.4D Insurance coverage for release of heating oil

Massachusetts regulations

220 CMR Department of Public Utilities

Web sources

Dealing with utility companies: disputes, making payments affordable, bills, deposits, and service shut-offs, National Consumer Law Center.
Explains your rights and who to contact if you have a problem.

Discounts on utilities for people with low income, Mass. Legal Help.
Explains eligibility requirements and how to apply.

File a complaint involving a gas, electric, or water company, Department of Public Utilities Consumer Division.
Explains how to complain if you don't receive satisfaction from the company.

Help paying your utility bill, Department of Public Utilities Consumer Division.
Site includes help with your utility bill, fuel assistance information and winter heating tips.

Homeowner oil system upgrade and insurance law, Mass. Dept. of Public Utilities. 
"This fact sheet contains important information for those who heat their homes with oil. By September 30, 2011, you must upgrade your home heating system equipment to prevent leaks from tanks and pipes that connect to your furnace."

How to help older Americans avoid loss of utility service, National Consumer Law Center
"Offers practical advice to advocates of elder issues on how to prevent a utility termination and how to challenge a pending utility termination."

Utilities, Mass. Legal Help, June 2017.
Covers the right to obtain service, protection against shut-off, what to do if your utilities have been shut off, getting help paying your bills, special rules for tenants living in condominiums and more.

Utilities advocacy for low-income households, 3d ed. National Consumer Law Center, 2013
Online version of the 136-page book, covers obtaining service, restoring service, receiving financial aid, forms, and appendices of regulations and procedures.

What to Do When Utility Service is Disconnected, National Consumer Law Center
"Examines some measures that advocates for the elderly can take when a client is facing disconnection of utility service."

Print sources

Access to utility service: disconnections, metering, payments, telecommunications, and assistance programs, National Consumer Law Center, 2018
Introduction -- Right to utility service -- Tenant strategies for maintaining service -- Metering issues : metering errors, master-metering, submetering, prepayment meters, advanced meters -- Payment issues : payment, security deposits, and late charges -- Grounds for termination of utility service and termination protections -- Utility affordability programs : description and implementation -- The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) -- Weatherization and energy efficiency programs -- Utility allowances in subsidized housing -- Telecommunications -- Affordable water service -- Bankruptcy issues : when either the consumer or landlord files for bankruptcy -- Manufactured homes and utility service -- Due process protections for municipal and REC customers : unregulated deliverable fuels -- Appendices.

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: September 21, 2018

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