Public Inquiries: 1-800-292-5650
LIHEAP Administering Agency Contacts
LIHEAP FY 2014 Funding (initial release)
LIHEAP FY 2013 Benefit
Heating: $850 maximum
LIHEAP Households Served (Estimate for FY 2011 Heating)
LIHEAP Program Dates
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. File by September 30 of the year following the tax year of the Home Heating Credit. For example, you must file by September 30, 2012 to be eligible for the 2011 Home Heating Credit. For more information and application refer to the Home Heating Credit website or call 517-636-4486 to have Home Heating Credit forms and instructions mailed to you. 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:
- are age 65 or older, or
- receive Michigan Family Independence Agency cash assistance, or
- receive Food Stamps or Medicaid, or
- have a household income at or below 150 percent of poverty level.
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.
- Low Income Senior Citizen Gas Rate
Protects low-income customers and all seniors age 62 and older from service shutoff October 1 - March 31. To be eligible, your household income cannot exceed 125% of the current federal income poverty level standard. This rate applies to full-time, single-family residences, or separately metered dwellings in a multi-family building. In addition to receiving winter shutoff protection, you will receive a $6.00 credit on your bill every month and missed payments will not be subject to a late payment fee. If you are eligible and want to be placed on this rate, please contact DTE at 800-477-4747.
- Senior Citizen Electric Service Rate
Depending on energy use, seniors 62 and older could save up to 33 percent — about $16 each month. If you use an average of less than 694 kilowatt hours per month, this rate will be beneficial to you. Check your average electricity use over the past 12 months. Your actual savings will depend on the amount of electricity you use. Signing up for this rate is simple. Just call Customer Service at 800-477-4747. Press 1 for "residential", then 3 for "billing/payment" and then 5 for "other". Ask for the Senior Citizen Residential Electric Service Rate.
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.
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
Customer donations go to the Cherryland Cares Fund. Individuals and organizations seeking assistance submit an application to the Cherryland Cares board for review.
Indiana Michigan Power
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.