FY 2015/2016 Low-Income Energy Programs
Federal | State | Utilities | Charitable


LIHEAP Contact
Public Inquiries: 1-855-275-6424
Website: www.michigan.gov/heatingassistance

LIHEAP Administering Agency Contacts

Weatherization Assistance Program
Local Administering Agency Contacts

LIHEAP FY 2016 Funding (including tribal awards)
$141,351,575 (Initial CR Release)

LIHEAP Income Eligibility Level
Heating: 110% Federal Poverty Guidelines
Crisis: 150% Federal Poverty Guidelines

LIHEAP FY 2016 Benefit
Heating: $1 minimum, $925 maximum
Crisis: $1,200 maximum

LIHEAP Households Served in FY 2014
Heating: 342,689
Cooling: 0
Winter/Year-round Crisis: 122,297
Summer Crisis: 0

LIHEAP Program Dates
Heating: January 1 - September 30
Crisis: November 1 - May 31
Weatherization: Year-round


Low-income Rate Assistance

Home Heating Credit
Basic maintenance benefits for LIHEAP are issued through the Home Heating Credit to all low-income households. The Michigan Department of Treasury determines eligibility and makes the payments. You do not need to file a state income tax return to receive the Home Heating Credit. You may apply for the Home Heating Credit only. Eligibility is based on income, number of exemptions and household heating costs. To apply:
Review the Home Heating Credit Claim Instruction Book for more details and complete the MI-1040CR-7 Claim. Current year forms are available on the Treasury website (http://michigan.gov/taxes/0,4676,7-238-44143---,00.html). Forms are automatically mailed to households that received a credit last year. Applications are available from mid- to late January and may be made through September 30 of each year. Forms and instructions are also available at Treasury offices and at most public libraries, Northern Michigan post offices, and Department of Human Services (DHS) county offices.

State Emergency Relief (SER)
SER provides a wide range of non-energy and energy-related emergency services. An application is needed to request assistance and an appointment is generally required. To apply, please contact the local DHS office in the county in which you reside. SER provides services such as payment for heating fuel, electricity and home repairs. For more information about the SER program refer to the State Emergency Relief website.


Low-income Rate Assistance

Arrearage forgiveness and deposit and fee waivers are provided by utilities that participate in the state's automated positive billing system and other payment plans. Under positive billing, a participating household must pay a percentage of its monthly assistance grant to its utility.

Winter Protection Plan
This plan protects senior and low-income customers of Commission-regulated natural gas and electric companies, rural electric cooperatives and alternative electric suppliers from electric or natural gas service shut-off and high utility payments between November 1 and March 31. Persons qualify for the plan if they meet any of the following criteria:

Winter Protection allows eligible low income customers to make monthly payments of at least 7 percent of their estimated annual bill, along with a portion of any past-due amount, December through March, and avoid shut-off during that time even if their bills are higher. Eligible senior citizens participating in Winter Protection are not required to make specific monthly payments between December 1 and March 31, but are encouraged to do so to avoid higher bills when the protection period ends. At the end of the protection period, both low-income and senior citizens taking part in the plan must pay off any money owed in installments between April and November.
To apply, contact your natural gas or electric utility company or alternative electric supplier.

Coldwater Board of Public Utilities
Designed specifically for CBPU customers whose household income falls under 200 percent of the poverty income, this programs provides a basic audit of the qualified applicant’s home followed with energy education and energy saving measures selected for their home. Future electrical and water usage will be monitored and results reviewed with the applicant. CBPU customers interested in more information on the REAP program can contact Bob Granger at 279-9531 x 6910.

Consumers Energy
Eligible customers (150 percent federal poverty guidelines) receive a 40 percent discount on their Consumers Energy bill until September 2015 so long as participants make on-time monthly payments toward a more affordable bill. Past due balance is frozen at the time of enrollment and will be reduced if regular monthly payments are made. After completing an application Dial 2-1-1, tell the representative you are calling to enroll in the "Consumers Energy CARE program" and they will direct you to the nearest site for enrollment. Applications can also be mailed and faxed. An application and more enrollment information is available at this website: www.consumersenergy.com/content.aspx?id=1244#CARE

Detroit Edison

Low-Income Energy Efficiency

Consumers Energy
Helping Neighbors Program
At no cost to income qualified customers, energy technicians will conduct a home energy assessment, install energy-saving products and provide educational information on additional ways to reduce energy use. For more information, call 877-448-9433.

Detroit Edison
Energy Efficiency Assistance Program

To enroll in this program, please contact a participating nonprofit organization or Community Action Agency. View this list, to locate a participating organization that serves your area. For further assistance, call the Michigan Community Action Agency Association at 517-321-7500 or visit them online at mcaaa.org.

Emergency Charitable Assistance

Please note these charitable funds are last resort emergency funds with limited resources and limited times of operation.

The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW)
An independent non-profit organization, THAW distributes funds for bill-payment assistance across the state and promotes energy conservation, weatherization and energy efficiency education. THAW partners with several utility companies, who provide funding to administer and operate the program. Most match customer and other donations dollar for dollar and all contributions go directly to low-income bill payments.

Consumers Energy
Begun in 1983, PeopleCare is a partnership between Consumers Energy and The Salvation Army to help Michigan households who may not qualify for other assistance yet are struggling to make ends meet. Charitable donations from Consumers Energy customers and employees allow The Salvation Army to extend material assistance to families, ranging from food to transportation to medical needs. Consumers Energy also donates PeopleCare bill credits for its low-income gas and electric customers, which are applied directly to a customer’s bill based on The Salvation Army caseworker assessment and authorization. To apply, contact your local Salvation Army office, which can be found at: www.usc.salvationarmy.org/wmni or www.dleg.state.mi.us/mpsc/winterwise/energy_assistance.htm

Cherryland Cooperative
Cherryland Cares
Customer donations go to the Cherryland Cares Fund. Individuals and organizations seeking assistance submit an application to the Cherryland Cares board for review.
231-486-9200, 800-442-8616

Indiana Michigan Power
Energy Share
Provides assistance with electric bills for eligible low-income customers. Apply for Energy Share by setting up an appointment with a local nonprofit organization. In Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties, call the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency at 269-925-9077 or 800-334-7670.

Lansing Board of Water & Light
Pennies for Power Program
Customer donations fund the Pennies for Power Program that provides utility shutoff protection for low-income families in the Lansing area.

The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army provides utility assistance throughout the State of Michigan. Over 120 caseworkers, working at more than 90 service locations, help families pay their utility bills in order to get through crisis.  The Salvation Army receives in-person requests throughout the year during normal weekday hours, as well as telephone inquiries and referrals from other human service agencies.  It provides a holistic approach to meet more than just the utility need—including budget counseling, food, rental assistance, and emotional support as necessary. Contact your local Salvation Army at www.usc.salvationarmy.org/wmni or www.dleg.state.mi.us/mpsc/winterwise/energy_assistance.htm

Tri County Electric
People Fund and Operation Round Up®
Customer donations provide funds for individuals and community organizations. Grant Guidelines include: $2,500 maximum in grants to any one family or individual per year; an applicant may not re-apply within 6 months from a previous application; and individuals or families must submit copies of previous federal income tax forms. To qualify for a grant, your family or organization must be located in the Tri-County Electric service area, which includes portions of Barry, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Mecosta, Montcalm, Osceola, and Saginaw counties. Applications and more information is available on the website.
1-800-421-8956ext 1211

Page last updated: November 9, 2015