MARLBOROUGH – Marlborough heating customers may soon get a helping hand thanks to a grant from the state Attorney General’s office.
The Marlborough City Council voted 11-0 to accept the $25,000 fuel assistance grant at a meeting this past Monday.
Mayor Arthur Vigeant wrote in a memo to the City Council that the award will be used to provide aid to residents in need through the city’s human services office over the next three years. He thanked the Attorney General’s office and United Way for their help in securing funding.
This comes as residential heating costs have increased sharply particularly over the last year, rising by more than 80% between March 28, 2021 and March 28, 2022, according to state data.
Federal data, meanwhile, showed a more than 30% increase just in the month preceding March 28 this spring.
Natural gas prices have jumped in similar step, climbing by well over 90% for Marlborough customers over the past year, according to the state.
Vigeant acknowledged these increased heating costs in his memo, writing that the human services office “expects an increase in shutoff notices in the coming weeks.”
In the meantime, Marlborough is now allowed to distribute its grant funds to households to help defray heating costs.
Eligible households must be making less than 80% of the Massachusetts median income to receive funds, according to the city’s grant contract.
Awards are also capped at $1,000 per household per year.
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