Federal funds now available to supplement state heating assistance
Rick Snyder, Governor
Valerie Brader, Executive Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 10, 2018
LANSING, Mich. – Nearly $39 million in federal money is now available to Michiganders who need help with their energy bills this winter, the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced today, boosting funding for the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) to nearly $90 million.
The $38.9 million released through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is in addition to $49.4 million in state funding that was awarded in October for MEAP grants. The federal money was delayed due to circumstances outside of the State’s control.
State funding for MEAP comes from a 93-cent monthly customer charge that participating utilities in Michigan assess through the Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF) program.
The federal money will be distributed to eight service agencies statewide. The organizations, how much federal money they received, and the area they serve are:
- Barry County United Way: $97,750, Barry County.
- Flat River Outreach Ministries, Inc.: $50,000, Lowell School District.
- Michigan Community Action Agency Association: $5.4 million, statewide.
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul of the Archdiocese of Detroit: $3.3 million, 39 counties throughout Michigan.
- Superior Watershed Partnership: $1.4 million, 15 Upper Peninsula counties.
- The Heat and Warmth fund: $7.8 million, statewide.
- The Salvation Army: $9.2 million, statewide.
- TrueNorth Community Services: $11.6 million, statewide.
Two service agencies that received state funding -- the United Way of Jackson County ($4 million) and the United Way of Southeastern Michigan ($6.75 million) -- did not apply for a share of the federal money.
The agencies will distribute the federal and state money to qualifying low-income consumers who fall behind on their energy bills this winter. Money can be used to pay for electric, natural gas, propane, heating oil, or any other deliverable fuel that is used to provide heat. The grants also support programs that help low-income households become energy self-sufficient through budgeting for and contributing to energy expenses, and using energy services to optimize savings.
Residents who need assistance with energy services can contact the grantee that serves their area, call 2-1-1, or go to mi211.org for information.
More than 102,000 households in Michigan received MEAP assistance during the funding period that ended Sept. 30. Of those households, more than 20,600 had someone age 60 or older, nearly 27,500 had a member who was 5 years old or younger, and nearly 39,800 had someone diagnosed with a disability.
For more information about MEAP and to view the 2018 Program Fact Sheet, visit our website.
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