Governor Whitmer Celebrates $54.5 Million Grant to Help Michiganders Keep the Heat On, Pay Bills this Winter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

December 2, 2021 

Contact: press@michigan.gov  

 

Governor Whitmer Celebrates $54.5 Million Grant to Help Michiganders Keep the Heat On, Pay Bills this Winter 

Governor encourages Michiganders who need help with heating or electric bills to call 211 or go to mi211.org to get the resources and support they need to stay safe and warm 

 

LANSING, Mich. - Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that nine local community service agencies across Michigan received a combined $54.5 million in Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) grants to help families pay for heat and energy as the winter approaches. Last year, the program helped over 52,000 households. 

 

"With winter just around the corner, we have to work together to put Michigan families first by helping them stay safe and warm," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer"Thanks to these grants provided under the Michigan Energy Assistance Program, we can help working families in Michigan from Macomb to Marquette get the help they need with electric bills, heat, natural gas, propane, or any other fuel that helps them say safe and warm. Last year, over 52,000 households received this assistance, and with the latest round of grants, tens of thousands will be helped this year too. If you need help with your bills this winter, I urge you to look into the resources we have available. Call 211 or go to mi211.org for more information."  

 

"No Michiganders should go without heat this year, and we urge anyone having trouble paying their home heating bills not to wait and to reach out for help now," said Dan Scripps, Chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). "In addition to home heating bill assistance, many Michigan utilities offer flexible payment plans, including ones that spread out the higher costs of home heating year round to reduce the burden when the temperatures drop. There are also programs that can help households use their energy more efficiently to help reduce their winter bills."  

 

MEAP Grant Recipients 

  • Barry County United Way: $150,000, Barry County. 
  • MDHHS Bureau of Community Action and Economic Opportunity: $6.39 million, statewide. 
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul of the Archdiocese of Detroit: $4.663 million; multiple counties throughout Michigan.  
  • Superior Watershed Partnership: $2.46 million, 15 Upper Peninsula counties, and multiple northern-Lower Peninsula counties.  
  • The Heat and Warmth Fund: $6.724 million, statewide.  
  • The Salvation Army: $11.263 million, statewide.  
  • TrueNorth Community Services: $11.2 million, statewide.  
  • United Way for Southeastern Michigan: $6.4 million, statewide.  
  • United Way of Jackson County: $5.25 million, statewide.  

 

Information for Families 

Assistance from MEAP 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. The State of Michigan urges customers struggling to afford their energy costs because of the pandemic or other reasons 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. Call 211 or go to www.mi211.org to learn about agencies that may assist with your energy bill.  

 

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 or LinkedIn.    

 

State Emergency Relief may help low-income households pay part of their heating or electric bills, assist in keeping utilities in service, or have service restored, assistance that's available year round. Apply on MI Bridges or call your local MDHHS Office for information. You'll be required to verify your income, so you may want to work with your utility or 211 first on tips to navigate this process. Households must apply for SER assistance prior to receiving any MEAP services.  

 

Cost Saving Tips 

Michiganders can take steps to cut home energy costs by: 

  • Cleaning furnace filters to help furnaces to run more efficiently. 
  • Installing a programmable thermostat to save on heating costs by lowering temperatures during daytime hours.  
  • Dressing for cold weather and turning down the thermostat another degree or two helps save money.  
  • Seal air leaks around windows, doors, or utility access points. 
  • Schedule a home energy assessment to identify ways to cut energy waste. 
  • Rebates on heating, ventilation and air conditioning, appliances, lighting, insulation and other improvements are available through utilities.  
  • Go to the MPSC's Be Winterwise webpage for more information, or check out additional recommendations on reducing energy bills from the U.S. Department of Energy. 

 

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