On September 15 the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued two orders approving $69 million in low-income energy grants to various organizations around the state for the fiscal year beginning October 1.
The Commission on April 2 issued a request for proposals for $55 million in low-income energy assistance grants. It awarded the majority of the funding ($53.15 million) as follows:
- Department of Human Services (the LIHEAP grantee): $35 million in total to provide direct assistance with energy bills for low-income households statewide divided as follows: $25.55 million to supplement the energy crisis portion of the State Emergency Relief program and $9.45 million for the arrearage payment program for clients participating in the Winter Protection Plan or similar plan that offers shutoff protection during the heating season.
- Michigan Community Action Agency Association: $4.15 million to provide direct energy assistance for low-income households statewide.
- The Heat and Warmth Fund: $5 million to provide energy assistance to low-income residential customers throughout the state.
- The Salvation Army: $6 million to provide energy assistance to low-income households statewide.
- Newaygo County Community Services: $3 million to provide energy assistance and shut-off protection to low-income households in Benzie, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Wexford counties.
Other nonprofit organizations and a tribal council received the remaining $1.85 million.
On the low-income energy efficiency side, the MPSC awarded the following grants:
- Department of Human Services: $10.4 million for statewide distribution to low-income households for energy efficiency upgrades, with up to 20 percent of the grant available for energy education.
- Newaygo County Community Services: $859,211 for weatherization of low-income homes in the mid-Michigan area.
- United Way for Southeastern Michigan: $1 million for matching grants to non-profit facilities for energy efficiency upgrades, energy efficiency audits, and energy efficiency weatherization education.
- Urban Options, Inc: $917,894 for weatherization of low-income client's homes, with a focus on heating systems and energy education.
- WARM Training Center: $861,373 for energy education for customers who receive energy assistance.
The grants are part of the 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 Report on the Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund, May 2008, the MPSC’s latest annual report on the fund.