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Superior Watershed Partnership provides energy assistance program services to low-income Upper Michigan households

Michigan residents who previously did not qualify may now be eligible for energy assistance.
(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - In light of the recent COVID-19 Pandemic, more Upper Peninsula residents are struggling to pay their heat & electric bills, but the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) is here to help.

Michigan residents who previously did not qualify may now be eligible for energy assistance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS), Division of Energy Assistance (DEA), was awarded additional LIHEAP funding under the CARES Act to assist residents with heating, cooling, crisis, weatherization assistance and case management for the reduction of the home energy burden.

Households who present with an energy crisis (past due bill or shut off notice) will initially apply for the State Emergency Relief (SER) program, either directly with the MDHHS using MiBridges or a paper application, or with assistance from the Superior Watershed Partnership Michigan Energy Assistance Program (SWP MEAP) or project partners, and MDHHS will determine eligibility for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assistance.

Households above the 150% Federal Poverty Level will not be eligible for MEAP payment services, however, the SWP MEAP will assist the household with the SER application process and with SWP MEAP self-sufficiency services.

After the Michigan household has been SER approved through MDHHS, the SWP MEAP can help with co-pays and subsequent heating and electric bills up to $2,000 per household.

The SWP MEAP also offers affordable payment plans and self-sufficiency services including: energy education, financial counseling, free home energy score assessments and free solar panel installation for up to five qualified households. T

he SWP MEAP collaborates with participating St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVdP) of the Upper Peninsula, Indian tribes of the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Community Action Agencies (MCAA), and other project partners to implement a step-by-step energy assistance program for low-income households across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

This collaborative, community approach helps struggling families in the UP of Michigan pay their energy bills, become more aware of home energy conservation, and receive the tools needed to gain the confidence and knowledge to budget for future energy costs.

The SWP MEAP will be hosting “Satellite” office hours across the Upper Peninsula in August and September to assist clients with any energy related needs including: MiBridges account creation, SER application assistance, SWP requirements and assistance, energy education, financial counseling, and more.

Please call our office for specific times and locations at 906-273-2742.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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