March 27, 2015—The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) issued grants to eight organizations as part of the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) after a call for applications in February. The grants, which total $22 million, will go towards supplementing MEAP funds released to organizations earlier this year. To date, $111.5 million has been awarded in FY 2015.
After a review of the applications, DHS and MPSC agreed to award eight of the nine organizations that applied. Among the recipients, the largest award amount was granted to TrueNorth Community Services to the total of $6.875 million. TrueNorth provides energy assistance program services to consumers in 63 counties throughout the state of Michigan. Other grantees include Consumers Energy Company ($2.5 million); DTE Energy ($3 million); Flat River Outreach Ministries, Inc. ($34,812); Michigan Community Action Agency Association ($3.6 million); Society of St. Vincent de Paul of the Archdiocese of Detroit ($1 million); Superior Watershed Partnership ($1.2 million); and The Salvation Army ($3.7 million).
The Michigan Energy Assistance Program was formed in early 2014 to be a more proactive way of helping low-income households in securing energy assistance. The goal, established through legislation, was to help clients before they received a shutoff notice, and to create more of a one-stop experience for those in need. The funds are accumulated through a combination of Michigan LIHEAP funds and surcharges on energy consumer bills from more than 15 utilities in the state. MEAP is administered as a partnership between the Public Service Commission and the Michigan Department of Human Services, the LIHEAP grantee. For more information on MEAP, see Issue 21 of the LIHEAP Clearinghouse Newsletter.
Sources: MPSC Press Release, LIHEAP Clearinghouse