Currently, Massachusetts consumers and consumers across the country struggle with energy affordability. Nationally, over one-third of households report experiencing energy insecurity. In 1 Massachusetts, over 200,000 low-income customers have utility bills in arrears as of December 2021. Low-income customers with utility bills that are more than 90 days past due owe an average of $1,555 in overdue utility bills (compared with $1,193 for other residential customers who have not been identified as low-income consumers). The impact of these arrearages would be far worse without the strong affordability programs and consumer protections that are available to Massachusetts utility customers, including the discount rate program, Arrearage Management Program, and disconnection protections available to households experiencing financial hardships.