On October 24, 2017, the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released the names of the ten Michigan service agencies who will be receiving a portion of the $45.5 million in grants under the 2017-2018 Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP).
The Michigan Energy Assistance Program grants are funded through Michigan’s Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund’s (LIEAF) monthly per-meter surcharge of $0.93 which is assessed by some 26 participating utilities including Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association.
Out of the ten Michigan-based agencies receiving the grants, the three agencies with direct ties to Alger Delta’s service areas are as follows:
The above agencies along with the Barry County United Way, Flat River Outreach Ministries, Society of St. Vincent de Paul of the Archdiocese of Detroit, The Heat & Warmth Fund, TrueNorth Community Services, United Way of Jackson County and United Way of Southeastern Michigan, will emphasize assisting the lowest-income households that have the highest energy burden. More than 102,000 households throughout the state of Michigan received MEAP assistance during the last funding period which ended on September 30, 2017.
Out of 102,000 households that received assistance through this program, more than 20,600 had someone age 60 or older, 27,500 had a member 5 years of age or under and nearly 39,800 had someone in the residence who had been diagnosed with a disability.
What Does This Mean for Alger Delta Members?
For Alger Delta Members, the Michigan Energy Assistance Program is basically a two-sided coin. On the one side, co-op members are direct contributors to the program through the $0.93 “MI Low Income Energy Fund” charge which appears on their monthly statement. This $0.93 charge per month, essentially allows members of Alger Delta to “Pay it Forward” to their fellow Michiganders who struggle to meet home energy costs. In fact, it is estimated that the members of Alger Delta will contribute approximately $109,900 to the 2017-2018 program.
On the other side of the coin, the MEAP can also help those members of Alger Delta who struggle to meet their home energy costs. Once approved, the Michigan Energy Assistance Program can provide members with services that enable those enrolled in the program to become or move towards becoming self-sufficient, including helping participants in paying their energy bills on time, assisting in budgeting for and contributing to their ability to provide for energy expenses and instructing participants in utilizing energy services to optimize on energy savings.
Members who need assistance with energy services are asked to contact the grantee within their service area, call 2-1-1 or visit mi211.org for more information.