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Michigan Home Heating Credit and Weatherization.

The state of Michigan provides low income residents with assistance from the Home Heating Credit program as well as weatherization. While the exact amount of assistance provided will vary from year to year and is dependent on federal government funding, on average a couple hundred dollars can provided to qualified applicants. The funds need to be used strictly for paying heating bills, and the money is paid out from the Home Heating Credit. The other resource, the weatherization program, which is offered for free, can help Michigan families save around 25% on their heating costs.

The Michigan Department of Human Services administers these programs in partnership with local community action agencies. The federal government Health and Human Services agency pays for these services as part of the LIHEAP Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Grants from the government go to the state of Michigan, which then provides the funds directly to qualified low income families and senior citizens.

Cash grants from Home Heating Credit

Short term heating and utility bill assistance is offered in Michigan from the Home Heating Credit. Cash grants are made available for residents who meet the programs eligibility requirements. The state uses federal government LIHEAP money in order to assist low-income families with paying their energy costs. Most applicants will receive a couple hundred dollars per year for paying their bills, however the exact amount can be lower or higher and depends on a number of criteria.

In order to receive any help, applicants will be required to pay a portion of their utility bill as this is not a public charity type program. The Michigan DHS agency may be able to assist you with paying the amount of your bill above your required payment when your heating or utility service has been or will be shut off.

When your electric or heating service is about to be disconnected, or when it has been shut off, then you may be able to receive a so called crisis grant. This is also available if you have run out of fuel, whether it is oil, kerosene, propane, or another heating source. Payments made by the Michigan Home Heating Credit may include the amount needed to restore the service, pay any fees or the state may pay you enough in order to continue the service for at least 30 days. Financial assistance may also be available to pay for up to a 30-day supply of a deliverable fuel or heating oil.





The Home Heating Credit is only available to low income families, and there are several conditions that need to be met. The objective is to assist working poor and low-income households that pay a high proportion of their total household income for their heating and home energy bills. This resource is also paid for by the federal government LIHEAP, and the levels of funding changes every year. Some of the criteria include applicants do not need to file a state income tax return in order to receive the Home Heating Credit. An individuals eligibility is based on factors such as their total income, household heating costs, and the applicants number of exemptions. The application period runs from about January to September.

For those looking to apply to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in Michigan, keep in mind that basic benefits and cash grants for LIHEAP are issued as part of the Home Heating Credit to all qualified low-income households. The state, working with community action agencies and social service offices, determines eligibility and makes payments to those who qualify.

To apply or get an application, dial 517-636-4486. Or, instructions and forms are available at post offices, your local public library, Treasury offices, community action agencies, and also Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) county offices.

Weatherization energy conservation program

Free home energy conservation services and updates are offered to low-income Michigan families from the Weatherization Assistance Program. Assistance is available for both homeowners and renters, with your landlords approval. The services from this program will help reduce your energy use and therefore lower your monthly utility and heating bills.

Energy conservation services typically provided include Attic and Wall Insulation and Ventilation, Air Leakage Reduction, Dryer Venting, and Energy Efficient Lighting.




Applicants will normally need to meet certain defined low income guidelines. However if you receive Supplemental Security Income or cash assistance administered by the Michigan Department of Human Services, they you will automatically be eligible for the free weatherization program. Many families that receive the Home Heating Credit will also qualify.

The Weatherization Assistance Program provides long term energy solutions and savings, as all updates made to a home are permanent. Individuals can normally save a few hundred dollars per year on their utilities. The service also provides free energy consultations and advice to low-income homeowners. The consultations can help people learn how to reduce energy use and lower their utility bills. Dial 517-636-4486.


By Jon McNamara

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