LANSING — Michiganders who need help with heating or electric bills can call 211 or go to mi211.org to get the resources and support they need to stay warm this winter.
The state has been awarded $54.5 million in Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) grants to help families pay for heat and energy as the winter approaches. Last year, the program helped more than 52,000 households.
Assistance from the MEAP can cover full or partial payment of one or more bills for electric, natural gas, propane, heating oil or any other deliverable fuel used to provide heat. The state of Michigan urges customers struggling to afford their energy costs because of the pandemic or other reasons to be proactive.
Many utilities offer flexible payment plans.
Residents are asked to contact their utility company or propane supplier as soon as they know they will be unable to pay their bill on time and not to wait for a shutoff notice or put themselves in a situation where they might run out of fuel.
Call 211 or go to www.mi211.org to learn about agencies that may assist with energy bill.
For more information about the MEAP, visit the MPSC’s MEAP page. For information about the MPSC, visit www.Michigan.gov/MPSC, sign up for its monthly newsletter or other listservs or follow the Commission on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Households must apply for State Emergency Relief (SER) assistance prior to receiving any MEAP services. SER may help low-income households pay part of their heating or electric bills, assist in keeping utilities in service or have service restored. This is assistance that’s available year round.
Residents can apply for SER on MI Bridges or call a local MDHHS Office for information. Applicants will be required to verify their income, so they may want to work with their utility or 211 first on tips to navigate this process.
The United Way for Southeastern Michigan, the Salvation Army and the MDHHS Bureau of Community Action and Economic Opportunity are some of the agencies that have received part of the $54.5 million in MEAP grants. 211 will likely direct individuals to their local MEAP providing agency, but individuals can also check with those agencies directly.
“If you need help with your bills this winter, I urge you to look into the resources we have available. Call 211 or go to mi211.org for more information,” Governor Whitmer said.