As Vice Chair of the Senate Energy & Technology Committee, it likely warms John Proos' heart that he has been tabbed as Legislator of the Year by the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm. Even as the next winter storm was delivering the first couple of inches of what could rack up to nearly a foot of new snow across much of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, Proos received the award this morning at an event on the lawn of the State Capitol building in Lansing before the snow arrived there.
The St. Joseph Republican Senator was recognized by the coalition for his work on ensuring affordable energy for low-income families. Coalition members hosted an event today on the lawn of the state Capitol to recognize legislators and community leaders for their work on energy issues for low-income families.
Proos was thankful, responding by saying, “I thank the Coalition to Keep MI Warm for this honor and for their work to keep energy affordability before us.” He added, “Families should not go cold in their own homes, and we have to ensure that we have programs to help families struggling to pay their energy bills. Any energy plan that we work on for the state and our communities has to consider affordability, and we have to continue supporting programs that meet these needs.”
It’s estimated that more than 600,000 Michigan households received some type of state, private and federal funds for home heating assistance in 2015. Nearly twice that many are eligible for some type of agency or program assistance.
Proos encourages residents to take the following steps this winter:
- If you are in need of energy assistance, contact your utility immediately and seek out agency assistance in your area.
- If you are using alternative sources of energy, such as space heaters or generators, please do so cautiously, and only upon following the directions for such energy sources.
- If you are in a position to give to support energy assistance, consider donating to a local human services agency in your area that provides direct energy assistance.