Senate approves low income energy assistance legislation

Legislation creating a fund for low income energy assistance overwhelmingly passed the Michigan Senate Tuesday.

Senate Bill 284, sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, would create the Low Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF). The legislation authorizes up to $60 million for low income energy assistance and provides the legislature the flexibility of several different funding options.

The fund would replace the Vulnerable Household Warmth Fund, which sunset last year.

“This legislation is designed to be a long-term solution to address the critical heating needs of our most vulnerable residents,” Nofs said. “A lot of work has gone into designing a more fair and equitable system that will help people move to self-sufficiency and eliminate the double surcharges previously paid by many utility customers across the state.”

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.