LANSING. MI (WTVB) - Heating bills have been lower because of the mild winter but the Michigan Public Service Commission Tuesday said it would hold a public hearing regarding the $36 million decline in the amount of federal funds received through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program which are expected to be cut even further.
The MPSC recently learned that the amount of federal funds available for LIHEAP may be reduced compared to prior years. Total LIHEAP funding in Michiganhas declined from a high of $276 million in FY 2010 to $173 million in FY 2012. For next year, Michigan LIHEAP funding is estimated at $137 million. The Legislature was forced to make an emergency fix with the LIHEAP program to help the elderly and poor after the Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund ended up in court.
The hearing is required by Michigan law whenever a reduction in these federal funds occurs. After the hearing, a report will be prepared and submitted to the Governor and Michigan Legislature. The hearing will take place on May 14th in Lansing.