Local energy assistance available

By Journal Staff

MARQUETTE — With the onset of cold weather, the Superior Watershed Partnership’s Michigan Energy Assistance Program has funding to assist Upper Peninsula residents with their heat and electric costs.

SWP urges U.P. residents struggling with paying their heat and electric bills to contact the SWP MEAP Energy and Climate Office for assistance with home energy bills and energy efficiency services.

Households who are experiencing an energy crisis should apply directly to the State Emergency Relief Program using the MI-Bridges website at www.michigan.gov/MIBridges or with assistance from the SWP Energy Office staff. The completed application will determine eligibility for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Households must be at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level to qualify for SER and MEAP payment services. For example, a family of four must not have income exceeding $3,469 per month, SWP MEAP said in a news release. The SWP Energy Office will assist any household with the SER application process and with SWP MEAP self-sufficiency services.

After a Michigan household has been approved for energy assistance through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, SWP MEAP can help with co-pays and subsequent heating and electric bills. SWP MEAP also offers affordable payment plans and energy security services including energy education, financial counseling, free home energy score assessments, home weatherization and free solar panel installation for up to three qualified households.

SWP MEAP collaborates with participating St. Vincent de Paul Societies of the U,P., Native American communities of the U.P., Michigan Community Action Agencies and other project partners to implement a step-by-step energy assistance program for low-income households across the U.P.

The SWP Energy and Climate Office, located at 1104 N. Third St., Marquette, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to assist residents with energy-related needs, including MI Bridges account creation, SER application assistance, SWP MEAP requirements and assistance, energy education, financial counseling and more.

The office can be reached at 906-273-2742.


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