When it comes to extreme cold weather in Michigan, the hits just keep coming this winter. The polar vortex and subsequent winter storms have dealt a blow to the entire state, affecting everything from blood supplies to the state government and even the Postal Service.
Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, children, and low-income households, are the ones who have felt the most bitter sting from this year’s unprecedented cold snaps. That’s what makes energy assistance programs like the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) so important.
LIHEAP directs federal funding to the states based on need, geography, climate, and other considerations. The states then decide how to best allocate those funds to help low-income and vulnerable Michigan households meet their urgent energy needs.
How does LIHEAP work?
MI’s energy assistance funds are distributed by the Department of Health and Human Services (Michigan DHHS) and the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).
For many low-income Michiganders, both types of energy assistance are needed.
Energy Assistance is More Than Just Getting People out of Crisis
One of the most important things we can do to help families who need energy assistance is to help them better understand and manage their energy use, preventing a crisis situation from developing.
Learn more about LIHEAP Action Day here. And how other energy assistance programs, like Michigan’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which focuses on improving a household’s energy efficiency. Michigan Community Action is another program that works with community-based programs to increase their residents’ energy efficiency and prioritize utility assistance where it is most urgently needed. Check out our blog with more information about how all Michiganders can stay warm this winter season.