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Energy Assistance

HomeThermostat-356x222One 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 discontinued or who are unable to pay their energy bills.

St. Vincent de Paul – Detroit is pleased to have been awarded the 2015 – 2016 MEAP (Michigan Energy Assistance Program) award of $4.4 million from Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) that will enable us to continue serving our neighbors throughout Michigan. The program starts on October 1, 2015.

Since 2006, St. Vincent de Paul with our numerous partners have been able to extend help to thousands of homes with funds from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and The Heat and Warmth fund (THAW).  Between October 2014 and August 2015 our Energy Assistance Program team through an expanded network of St. Vincent de Paul Conferences and in collaboration with service agencies throughout Michigan disbursed:

Michigan Map


$4.1 Million, to

3,464 Households, in

199 cities, from

37 Michigan counties





2015 – 2016 Eligibility requirements and documents needed from applicants seeking energy assistance:

  1. The utility account must be in the applicant’s name. Must be age 18 or older and must reside in the household.
  2. Total household income must be at or below 150% of poverty level (see table below). Note: Total Income = Gross Income – Allowable Deductions (i.e. taxes, health insurance, court-ordered child support) Food stamps do not count as income.
  3. 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.
  4. Identity of the Applicant will 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Residency of the Applicant will be verified (must be applicant’s primary residence, not commercial account). Proof of residency must include current utility bill plus one of the following: MI license/state ID showing current address, lease/mortgage in applicant’s name, DHS letter or other bill dated within last 30 days
  7. Applicant’s total owing amount must be between $150 and $3500 for a combined (gas/electric) account, or between $150 and $2000 for single utility account. Maximum payment assistance is capped at $3000 for a combined account or $1500 for a single utility.
  8. If applicant has received assistance from another agency during the current program year they may still be eligible depending on the agency and amount received. Total assistance is capped at $3000 for a combined gas/electric account or $1500 for a single utility during the current program year. Assistance from ALL MEAP agencies, including DHS, count toward this cap.
  9. A shut-off notice is not required, however the bill must be past due on the date the application is taken. For propane and heating oil customers the fuel tank must contain no more than 25% of its heating fuel capacity.
  10. Applicant should have made payments in the past 6 months (from date of application) totaling $450 for a combined (gas/electric) account or $225 for a single utility. For propane/heating oil only, $225 in the past 12 months is acceptable. These are payments made by the applicants themselves and do not include the Home Heating Credit or payments made by DHS, conferences or any other agency. Payment history will be reviewed and if not adequate may be asked to make a payment before we can assist.
  11. If you are enrolled in any of these programs: LSP with DTE, CARE with Consumers Energy or MAP with SEMCO you are not eligible

2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines

                                150 Percent of Poverty – Monthly Income (Upper Limit)
$1471.25 $1991.25 $2511.25 $3031.25 $3551.25 $4071.25 $4591.25 $5111.25

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

The following documents are needed when applying for energy assistance:

  1. Photo ID – must have picture and name (license/state ID/school ID/employment ID/passport)
  2. Social Security card – only need copy of applicant’s card. If don’t have SS card will accept one of the following:
    1. Medicare card showing full number and name
    2. Statement from Social Security Administration showing full number and name
  3. Proof of Income for Entire Household (Food stamps do not count as income):
    1. If employed and paid weekly need 5 most recent paystubs
    2. If employed and paid bi-weekly need 3 most recent paystubs
    3. SS, SSI, Pension – need award letter for current calendar year showing gross amount, deductions if any and date received each month. If doesn’t show date payment is received, need most recent bank statement showing deposit date, but bank statement alone is not sufficient
    4. Unemployment – need weekly benefit amount and date payment is received each week. Need bank statement if date is not on unemployment letter, but bank statement alone is not sufficient
    5. Child Support – most recent ReliaCard statement or bank statement showing actual amount received. Cannot accept court order because only shows amount ordered; not amount actually paid
    6. Self-Employment Affidavit if self-employed and/or paid in cash. Need receipts, 1099, 1040 as applicable
    7. Other – must be current showing amount received in past 30 days
  4. Proof of Residence (Current Address)
    1. License or ID is best if has current address on front or back
    2. Lease/Mortgage in applicant’s name
    3. If license/ID not updated then need another piece of mail received in past 30 days showing current address (i.e. DHS letter, other bill)
  5. Most recent bill from utility provider
  6. Propane/Fuel Oil – Quote containing: name and street address of provider, provider fax no. or email address, total estimated price of propane/fuel oil including other fees if any
  7. DHS decision letter (SER) (if applicable)

Application is to be completed by the person whose name is on the bill (the applicant).

The applicant must be present at the appointment when applying for energy assistance.

Clients needing energy assistance in these six counties – Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Monroe, St. Clair and Lapeer,  call our Help Line number: 313-393-2930 or our Toll Free number: 1-877-STVINCE (1-877-788-4623). Follow the prompts, key in your zip code which will get you to the closest St. Vincent de Paul location, leave a voice message and our volunteers will call you back.

For clients needing energy assistance in all other counties use the below links to find locations closest to you:

Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, The Heat and Warmth Fund

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