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This Holiday, Give the Gift of Energy Assistance

Many Michigan families are trimming trees, wrapping presents, and making spirits bright in preparation for the holidays. For some low-income families, however, the holiday season’s frigid winter weather conditions create considerable anxiety as simply keeping the heat on can leave them facing tough choices.

Michigan has a variety of resources available for those in need, and many ways you can help people in your community who may be struggling. Read below to learn just a few ways you can share the gift of energy assistance
so every Michigan family can enjoy a warm, safe holiday season.

        The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW).This non-profit organization has distributed more
than $172 million in assistance to keep more than 232,000 Michigan homes warm
since its founding in 1985. THAW aims to help the elderly, unemployed, and
disabled who may be unable to heat their homes. With four different assistance programs available,
Michigan families can apply for the program best suiting their needs to help
reduce or even eliminate the cost of heating a home. Want to give the gift of
energy assistance? Consider donating by visiting THAW’s website.

        Michigan Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP).The Michigan state government
understands how brutal winters can be and has allocated funds to the Michigan
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. LIHEAP provides
assistance to Michigan families of any size who meet basic State Emergency
Relief (SER) guidelines. Families can apply online or call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for more details.

       Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (DHS).Michigan DHS also will help low-income families defer energy costs through three different programs: a home heating credit, state emergency relief, or weatherization assistance. Each program tackles various home energy issues from heating and electricity to wall insulation and smoke detector testing. To learn more about how to apply for Michigan DHS assistance, visit their website.

       Michigan Community Action.This organization helps close the energy affordability gap by supporting community action agencies in Michigan who can work directly with low-income families. Michigan Community Action estimates low-income families spend 20 to 30 percent of their income just to heat their homes, whereas middle class or wealthy families only pay 7 to 10 percent. Michigan Community Action provides more information about their assistance programs for energy optimization, utility assistance, and weatherization assistance online.

       Consumers Energy Assistance.If you or someone you know needs help making ends meet this month, Consumers Energy has a variety of assistance programs available for varying levels of need. Check out their Critical Care Program, or help someone in your neighborhood with the Helping Neighbors Energy Efficiency Assistance. They’ll help you set up a budget and payment plan too!

Making Every Michigander’s Holiday Bright and Warm

Many of us take energy for granted, but some Michigan families are particularly aware of the struggles a cold winter brings. Keeping the heat and lights on shouldn’t be a luxury for anyone this time of year, and it’s a matter of life and death for some of our most vulnerable friends and neighbors. This holiday season, give the gift of energy assistance by supporting one of the programs listed above, or direct a family in need to the right resource.

For more information, contact your friends at AMP by emailing us at info@allianceformichiganpower.com.