The Michigan Public Service Commission has added another $3 million in energy assistance funding, amending its August 30 order that provided $55 million.
Anticipating a drop in federal LIHEAP funds as well as “an unprecedented increase in the number of households seeking help with heating bills,” the Commission announced on November 19 that it was in the public interest to add the funding. “Due to the high unemployment rate and loss of jobs in the state, many households that have never requested help are seeking assistance with their utility bills,” its amended order stated.
As was the case with the original funding, the $3 million will be divided among eight organizations with the state LIHEAP office, the Department of Human services, receiving the largest amount, about $1.9 million. Others getting additional funds are: the Salvation Army, $338,100; the Heat and Warmth Fund, $327,300; Michigan Community Action Agency Association, $163,500, and four other nonprofits around the state.
The grants are through Michigan’s Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund (LIEE), which provides energy bill assistance for low-income customers and promotes the efficient use of energy by all customer classes. Since 2002, the MPSC has awarded LIEE funds yearly for low-income energy programs. The amount released to date is over $500 million. More information is available in the Report on the Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund, dated October 29, 2010, the MPSC’s latest annual report on the fund.
Source: Michigan PSC