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Public Comments Welcome On Utility Bill Surcharge For Heating Assistance

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today proposed a 93 cent per-meter monthly surcharge to fund the Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF).

The Commission also is seeking public comment on the proposed surcharge (Case No. U-17377), which would be the same amount as was collected this past fiscal year. The fee, created underSection 9t(5) of Public Act 95 of 2013, is to be assessed monthly on each retail electric billing meter (but no more than one residential meter per residential site) for utilities participating in the program. There is a $50 million cap for the LIEAF fund.

LIEAF provides energy assistance and self-sufficiency services to low-income households in Michigan in conjunction with the state Department of Health and Human Services. The surcharge, supplemented with federal money, funds the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP). MEAP support was provided to 64,681 Michigan households from October 2017 through May 2018. In fiscal year 2017, 102,213 households received MEAP funding.

Utilities that have agreed to participate in the LIEAF program are Alger-Delta Co-operative Electric Assn., Alpena Power Co., Village of Baraga, Bay City Electric Light & Power, Consumers Energy Co., City of Crystal Falls, DTE Electric Co., Great Lakes Energy Cooperative, City of Gladstone, City of Hart Hydro, Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Indiana Michigan Power Co., Lowell Light and Power, City of Marshall Electric Department, Midwest Energy Cooperative, Negaunee Department of Public Works, Newberry Water and Light Board, Niles Utilities Department, Northern States Power Co., City of Norway, City of Petoskey, Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op, City of St. Louis, Thumb Electric Cooperative, Union City Electric Department, and Upper Peninsula Power Co.

Utilities that do not collect the surcharge cannot shut off service from Nov. 1, 2018, to April 15, 2019, to any residential customer who falls behind on bill payments.

Send comments about the surcharge by 5 p.m. July 18 to Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing, MI 48909, or mpscedockets@michigan.gov.

To look up cases from today’s meeting, access the eDockets filing system here.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc, sign up for one of its listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter.

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