11/30/2012
I&M'S ENERGY SHARE ENTERS EIGHTH YEAR

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) announced today that it is funding its Energy Share program for the eighth consecutive year.

The energy assistance partnership with the Indiana Community Action Association and the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency provides assistance to eligible low-income customers who need help maintaining electric service. 


I&M donated a total of $200,000 between the two agencies which will manage how funds are distributed to those needing assistance. Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are uniquely qualified to manage Energy Share because they work with low-income households living in I&M’s service territory on a regular basis. Although there are a number of energy assistance programs through state and federal sources, Energy Share’s qualification requirements offer a simpler way for CAA managers to help those in need. To qualify, applicants must meet income eligibility requirements and be a customer of Indiana Michigan Power.


“Indiana Michigan Power is grateful for the support of our community action partners as we reach out to help customers who are most in need, especially during the heating season,” said Sarah Bodner, Director of Communications and Community Relations for I&M. 


Since the shareholder-funded program began, $900,000 has been offered for low-income energy assistance. In the past year, nearly 1,000 customers received an average of $195 for energy assistance. Costs associated with the program are not passed through in electric rates. 

 
Additional sources of energy assistance exist for electric utility customers who meet eligibility requirements.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) support is available to households falling within 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines and is funded by a federal block grant offered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The level of assistance is based on several factors, including family size, income status and dwelling type.  Between Dec. 1 and Mar. 15, electric utilities in Indiana do not disconnect service to customers enrolled in LIHEAP who are delinquent on their home electricity bills.  Senior citizens and qualified low-income customers in Michigan are also protected from disconnection for being delinquent on electric bills from Nov. 1 through Mar. 31.


Low-income customers may also qualify for energy efficiency programs designed to reduce the overall energy usage in the household. The Income Qualified Weatherization Program is available to Indiana customers through Energizing Indiana (energizingindiana.com) and the Energy Efficiency Assistance Program is available to Michigan customers through Efficiency United (efficiencyunited.com).


Indiana Michigan Power also offers a number of energy efficiency programs available to customers regardless of income status as well as billing options that can level out monthly payments. Customers may call the Indiana Michigan Power Customer Solutions Center for more information. Indiana customers may call 800-311-4634 and Michigan customers may call 800-311-6424. Information is also available at indianamichiganpower.com.

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