FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 3, 2020
As Michiganders settle into the cold weather season, nine community service agencies are ready to help customers who fall behind on home energy bills.
The agencies were recently awarded $54.5 million in Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) grants, the Michigan Public Service Commission and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced today.
MEAP is funded by the Low Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF), which raises money through a monthly surcharge assessed by participating utilities, this year set by the MPSC at 91 cents. Additional funding for MEAP grants is provided through the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
The grant recipients, the amount each received and their service areas are as follows:
Grant recipient agencies emphasize helping the lowest-income households that have the highest energy burden. More than 55,000 households in Michigan received MEAP assistance in the funding period that ended Sept. 30.
MEAP grant agencies also serve as MI Bridges navigators to help applicants with payments that can be used to meet home heating and electricity costs on primary residences. Assistance can cover full or partial payment of one or more bills for electric, natural gas, propane, heating oil, or any other deliverable fuel used to provide heat. Grant agencies will also provide energy self-sufficiency services, such as weatherization improvements, to reduce energy waste in homes.
Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, home energy bills are significant expenses for many household budgets. Help is available for customers having trouble paying their energy bills.
The MPSC urges customers to be proactive. Many utilities offer flexible payment plans. Contact your utility company or propane supplier as soon as you know you will be unable to pay your bill on time, and don’t wait for a shutoff notice or put yourself in a situation where you might run out of fuel.
Here are ways to seek assistance:
Michiganders can take a number of steps to cut home energy costs by reducing energy waste and smarter use of energy.
For more information about MEAP, visit the MPSC’s MEAP page. For information about the MPSC, visit www.Michigan.gov/MPSC, sign up for its monthly newsletter or other listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter.
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