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Energy Assistance


One of the Special Works of St. Vincent de Paul, Detroit is to offer energy assistance to income eligible households who may be in danger of having their electric and heating utilities disconnected or who are unable to pay their energy bills.

St. Vincent de Paul – Detroit is pleased to have been awarded the 2016 – 2017 Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) grant award of $5 million from the Michigan Agency for Energy that will enable us to continue serving our neighbors throughout Michigan. The program starts on October 1, 2016.

Between October 2015 and September 2016 our Energy Assistance Program team through an expanded network of St. Vincent de Paul Conferences and in collaboration with service agencies throughout Michigan disbursed $4.2 million, to 3,688 households, in 36 Michigan counties.

Michigan Map

2016 – 2017 MEAP Household Eligibility Guidelines

  • Any person age 18 or older who resides in the household can be the applicant. Must provide proof of residence.
  • Total Income in the household is at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines (see table below) Note: Total Income = Gross Income – Allowable Deductions (i.e. taxes, health insurance, court-ordered child support).
  • The Social Security number for every member in the household must be provided. A copy of the applicant’s Social Security card must be submitted.
  • Identity of the Applicant must be verified using a photo ID. Acceptable proof of identity includes but is not limited to: driver’s license, state-issued ID, school ID, employment ID, US passport.
  • Residence of the Applicant must be verified (must be applicant’s primary residence, not commercial account). Proof of residence must include current utility bill plus one of the following: MI license/state ID showing current address, lease/mortgage in applicant’s name, DHHS letter or other recent mail (another bill, paystub, etc.)
  • Maximum payment is $3000 for a combined (gas and electric) account or $1500 for a single (heat or electric) utility.
  • Applicant must be a US citizen or qualified alien. However, if an undocumented alien exists in the household the amount of assistance will be prorated to exclude the undocumented alien.
  • A shut-off notice is not required, however the bill must be past due at the date the application is taken. For propane and fuel oil customers the fuel tank must contain no more than 25% of its heating fuel capacity.
  • If enrolled in DTE’s ‘LSP’, Consumers Energy’s ‘CARE’ or SEMCO’s ‘MAP’, client is not eligible for assistance with the utility in which they are enrolled.
  • Applicant has made payments in the past 6 months as follows based on the Federal Poverty Level of the household. These are payments made by the applicants themselves:
    • 0 – 100% FPL (Federal Poverty Level): No payment is required
    • 101 – 125% FPL: $350 for a combined gas/electric account or $175 for a single utility
    • 126 – 150% FPL: $450 for a combined gas/electric account or $225 for a single utility

If insufficient, applicant will be asked to make a payment.

2016-17 Federal Poverty Guidelines

150 Percent of Poverty – Monthly Income
$1485.00 $2002.50 $2520.00 $3037.50 $3555.00 $4072.50 $4591.25 $5111.25

For households greater than 8 add $520 for each additional member

St. Vincent de Paul was also awarded $200,000 from Consumers Energy. Eligibility guidelines are the same as above, however CE customers below 200% of the Poverty level are also eligible for energy assistance from these funds.

Other energy resources:

The following websites are useful resources:

Alliance to Save Energy (for children and adults)

Home Energy Conservation for Kids

Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm

PATHWAYS for Bill Payment Assistance

Consumers Energy

DTE Energy

Department of Energy

Great Lakes Energy 

Michigan Public Service Commission

State of Michigan