For many Massachusetts residents, the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is how they can afford oil or natural gas through the cold New England winter. But this program is one of hundreds frozen by the government shutdown, according to the Boston Globe.
According to the LIHEAP website, the program was budgeted for $3 billion this year, but that money is locked up as Congress and the President wrangle over budget resolutions, the debt ceiling and funding the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare.
Local organizations, which usually work out plans to distribute the federal money to residents and to help them lock in lower rates with guaranteed payments, are laying off workers and waiting for showdown to end.
There are other heating aid groups, like Citizens Energy—which you may know as Joe-For-Oil—but that group is not yet ready to accept applications for the 2013-2014 online.