UPCCO highlights home heating assistance programs in Michigan

MARQUETTE – As winter establishes its hold on the region, Upper Peninsula Power Company is highlighting resources, including home heating assistance, that may be available for Upper Peninsula residents.

“The process for applying for assistance has changed this year,” said Brett French, UPPCO’s vice president of Business Development and Communications.

Customers must apply for assistance and support through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services by going online to https://michigan.gov/mibridges, she said, explaining, “DHHS will determine and establish a customers’ eligibility for home heating assistance.”

Community partners are available to assist those customers who may require assistance. Customers can call the U.P. 211 Call Center by dialing 211 from anywhere within the Upper Peninsula to find community partners in their area. U.P. 211 is administered by the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress or UPCAP, a non-profit, charitable organization.

“The U.P. 211 Call Center is a great resource that people can turn to for information and assistance for a child, aging parent or the entire family,” French said. “211 can help simplify the process of finding help during a time of need.”

UPPCO also is highlighting the state’s Winter Protection Plan, which covers the period of Nov. 1 through March 31. The plan helps senior citizens and income-eligible customers manage utility bills and prevent service interruptions. Customers who are interested in the Winter Protection Plan should contact UPPCO for more information.

Income-eligible customers also must apply for energy assistance through DHSS using MI Bridges to stay enrolled in the plan.

Once enrolled, income-eligible customers must pay a portion of their estimated annual bill each month and make equal monthly payments on any past due bills.

Enrolled senior citizens are not required to make payments during the Winter Protection Plan period but are encouraged to pay whatever they can to avoid large bills when the protection period ends in the spring.

UPPCO customers can call 906-449-2013 or 800-562-7680 to determine if they qualify for the Winter Protection Plan. Additional information is available at www.uppco.com.