September 4, 2015—The state of Michigan has approved the release of a total of $89.5 million in Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) grants for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016. The MEAP grants will be distributed to 13 organizations that administer energy assistance programs.
Thirteen organizations will receive funds for the upcoming FFY, which begins in October. The largest recipients are listed below with the amount of funding they will receive. Generally, grantees continue already-existing programs. The proposals that just received funding are not yet posted on the Michigan Public Service Commission website, so the Clearinghouse has listed program descriptions from 2015:
- DTE Energy: $17 million. The utility offers a "Low-Income Self-Sufficiency Plan."
- Consumers Energy: $13.2 million. The utility offers a "Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy (CARE)" program.
- TrueNorth Community Services: $13.2 million. The agency offers its "emPower Program" that seeks to move clients toward energy self-sufficiency.
- Salvation Army: $12.6 million. It offers the Gaining Proactive Solutions (GPS) model, Pathway of Hope (Pathway) case management program, Subsidy Crisis Response Fund, and High Arrears Fund.
- Michigan Community Action Agency Association: $9 million. It provides funding to its 29 sub-contracting community action agencies' Community Action Empowerment Model programs.
- The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW): $8.5 million. This fuel fund assists low-income households through its 80+ human service agencies.
More information about the programs funded in 2015 can be found here.
In March 2013, Public Act 615 established the Michigan Energy Assistance Act that required the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to establish and administer the MEAP. The MEAP grants are funded by a combination of a portion of Michigan's LIHEAP award and ratepayer surcharges from the Low Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF). Each year the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) is charged with approving the funding factor for the year for participating utility companies. Earlier this year the MPSC approved a new funding factor of $0.98 per meter per month for LIEAF, which goes into effect this month and will continue until August 2016. The LIEAF program, enacted in July of 2013, is allowed to collect no more than $50 million from ratepayer surcharges. The remainder of the MEAP grant is funded through a portion of the state's LIHEAP award.
For more background on MEAP and LIEAF, see this newsletter by the LIHEAP Clearinghouse.
Sources: LIHEAP Clearinghouse, Media Sources, MSPC website