Frequently Asked Questions
  • How to fill out the application?

    Please pay attention to the application because it has changed from prior years' applications. Do not use any application dated before 2016/2017.
    Page 1 instructions
    Page 2 instructions
    Page 3 instructions
    Page 4 instructions
    Page 5 instructions
    Page 6 instructions

  • How do I qualify for heat and energy assistance?

  • What documents are required to apply?
    What if I am an alien or an undocumented alien?

  • What proofs of income does emPower require?
    Household income refers to total cash receipts before taxes from all sources and for all household members.
    Countable Earned Income
    Countable Unearned Income
    Examples of acceptable income verification documentation
    Income we do not count
    What does "in the past 30 days" mean?
    What if I am self employed?

  • What services are covered?

  • What services are not covered?

  • How long does it take to process my application?

  • How will I know if TrueNorth received my application?

  • How will I know if I have been approved or denied for assistance?

  • I was denied for assistance, now what do I do?

  • Can I apply for more than one heat and energy assist?

  • What does emPower need if I heat with propane or fuel oil?
    How do I know if I have 25% or less in my fuel oil tank?

  • What does emPower need if I request electric and/or natural gas assist?

  • What if I have a common meter/service situation?

  • What if I have fraud/theft/bankrupt listed on my account?

  • What does emPower need if I request wood, wood pellets, coal, etc. assist?

  • Does emPower pay for any other utility bills?

  • Does emPower provide any other supportive services?

  • I don't have my Social Security card, what can I do?

  • I have a newborn and have not received their Social Security number (SSN) yet?

  • Is there a cap on assistance?

  • I have a SER from DHHS, can I get assistance from TrueNorth's emPower program?

  • What is the contact information for emPower?

  • Where is TrueNorth's office located?

  • How do I become an energy provider/vendor for TrueNorth?

  • Once a client is approved, how will I, as a vendor, receive a commitment?

  • Are there any other energy resources?

    What is emPower?
    emPower is TrueNorth Community Services' heat and energy assistance program. The program provides heat and energy assistance to qualified families throughout Michigan counties by assisting households with heat related utility bills, deliverable fuels, and energy conservation initiatives.

    emPower's heat and energy program is a MEAP (Michigan Energy Assistance Program) grant funded program that is funded by the Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF) and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

    Is the emPower program available in my county?
    Please Note: While emPower heat and energy assistance might be available in your area, not all TrueNorth programs are available. You are encouraged to visit our Resource Search page. Once there, click on the drop down arrow in the box under "Select a County", and search for the particular service you may need in the box "Select a Category". You can also search to see all services TrueNorth provides for your county. If a needed service is not available for your area, please dial 2-1-1 or visit www.mi211.org.

    What are the office hours for the emPower Heat and Energy Program?
    TrueNorth's Fremont, Michigan Main office hours are Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

    We accept mailed in applications Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. We are not open on weekends or holidays.

    We will accept applications through email from Monday - Friday 6:00 am - 10:00 pm (before 6:00 am and after 10:00 pm, you will not be able to email your application).

    The online application will be available to use Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. This option will only be available during this time.

    Any application received outside the times listed above, will be accepted the next business day.

    I received a Consumers Energy CARE 4.0 application, how does this program work?

  • You to have to be eligible to receive the CARE benefits. Bill must be in applicant's or spouse's name.

    The Name and address on the application must match name and address on ID and utility bill. 

    Your Consumers Energy bill must be past due, shut-off status, or disconnected. Your total past due amount cannot exceed $2,000.

    You must also qualify based on total household income. Click here for income guidelines. You must have income to qualify.

    Once approved for the CARE program, the monthly payments are as follows:
    »From November 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017 you will pay 50% of your energy charges and Consumers Energy will pay 50%.
    »From April 1, 2017 through September 30, 2017 you will pay 70% of your energy charges and Consumers Energy will pay 30%.

  • As a reward for on-time monthly payments, you will receive gradual forgiveness of your past-due balance.

  • If you miss a payment, you can default from the program.

  • I Received a DTE Energy Low Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP) application, how does the program work?

    This program allows you to make affordable monthly payments based on your income.

    Other program benefits include access to dedicated Customers Advocates, self-sufficiency training, protection from shutoff, no future late payment charges and the reduction of your outstanding balance.

    Once enrolled you will pay a fixed monthly amount for your utilities, and the program will pay the difference between the plan amount and your monthly bill.

    To qualify, income must be equal to or less than 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) Guidelines (click here for chart). You must have income to qualify.
    »You must not have used more than $2,150 in natural gas for the year, $1,600 in electricity for the year or $3,750 in both natural gas and electricity.
    »Must have an active service and no unauthorized usage. »Arrears must not exceed $2,000.

  • How do I receive an emPower application?
    If you live in a county served and meet the program's requirements, you can access an application by visiting our Resource Search page, enter the county you live in and there will be a list of assistance programs with a printable application. Applications may also be available at your local Department of Health and Human Services' offices, or other agencies.


    Once you have filled out the application and have all required documents, you can mail it to (TrueNorth/emPower, PO Box 149, Fremont, MI 49412) or email it to applications@tnempower.org.

    If you are unable to print off the application, you can also use our online application (coming soon). This format must have the required documents attached at time of submitting. You may also call us at 231-355-5880 (1-855-300-8013) and we can mail you one.

    Spanish applications will be coming soon.


    How to fill out the application:
    Please pay attention to the application because it has changed from prior years' applications. Do not use any application dated before 2016/2017 version.

    Page 1: This page is to provide information regarding applying for assistance. 

    Page 2: This page provides a checklist of what information is required to send your complete application. This page does not have to be returned with completed application. If you fail to provide the required documents, it will delay your assistance request.

    Page 3: If you are 18 years or older, you are allowed to fill out and apply for assistance. We require you to enter your name, contact information, mailing and service address (if different from mailing address), your email address and the county in which you live. You must put all household members' names, birth dates, and all nine-digit social security numbers, including yourself. Please mark anyone who is disabled and indicate whether or not household members are US citizens.

    You also need to fill out the section that states, "You Must Answer All Questions".

    CITIZENSHIP/ALIEN STATUS
    A person must be a US citizen or a qualified alien to be eligible. Qualified alien means an alien who is one of the following:
    »Amerasian
    »Lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
    »Granted asylum under section 208 of the INA.
    »A refugee who is admitted to the US under section 207 of the INA.
    »Paroled into the US under section 212(d)(5) of the INA for a period of at least one year.
    »An alien whose deportation is being withheld under section 241(b)(3) or 243(h) of the INA.
    »Granted conditional entry pursuant to section 203(a)(7) of the INA.
    »A Cuban/Haitian entrant.
    »An alien who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the US by a US citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent, or by a member of the spouse or parent's family living in the same household, or is the parent or child of a battered person.
    »Nonimmigrant (student).

    HOUSEHOLDS WITH UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN(S)
    Undocumented aliens are not eligible, but their presence does not disqualify the household. The following applies to all households containing one or more undocumented aliens:

    »Any member of the household may apply as long as they are 18 years or older.
    »Include all household member for purposes of determining eligibility for MEAP.
    »Include the income of all household members.

    DETERMINING ASSISTANCE FOR HOUSEHOLD WITH UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN(S)
    emPower will prorate the approved payment by the following:

    »We will count the income of all household members, including the undocumented alien(s).
    »We will include all household members when determining required payments, affordability and other eligibility requirements.
    »The portion of the final MEAP payment is prorated to remove the undocumented alien's share. That share is the prorated amount that the household must pay toward the cost of the service.

    NOTE: Household must meet all other eligibility requirements.

    Page 4: This page is where you will enter the heat and energy providers that you need help with. You can apply for electric and one other heat source. So if you are past due, have a shut-off notice, or currently shut off with your electric, you may enter your provider's name, account number, and name on the account.

    You can apply for primary heat source, if you heat with something other than electric. You would enter the heat source in the designated area and provide all information requested. Remember, you must have 25% or less in propane or fuel oil at time of delivery. You must be past due, have received a shut-off notice, or be currently shut off to apply for natural gas. You must have less than 14 days of wood, wood pellets, coal or other to apply for assistance. Payment will only be approved for the primary heating source and electric.

    Once you have applied and received assistance with primary heat source, each and every request for assistance thereafter can only be for the original heat source. Example: If you requested and have been approved for assistance for propane, then each and every time thereafter you can only request assistance with your propane, as well as your electric.

    Please note: If you are above 25% in fuel at the time of delivery, TrueNorth will not pay for that delivery. That bill will be your responsibility.

    You must also fill out the "Emergency need" information at the bottom of this page.

    Page 5: This page is for your household income. You must fill out this portion based on all who are receiving income in the household.

    If your household does not receive income, there is a "NO" box that must be checked and you must also check the box that states "I certify the household has no income."


    Fill out the "Eligible Income Expenses" portion on the application.

    The "If available, tell us what other resources you would be interested in learning about" is only needed to be completed if you would like to receive information on other resources available in each listed category.

    Page 6: You must fill out both portions of this page. The "Signature Requirement" section must be signed and dated by the person filling out the application on Page 3; your spouse is not required to sign.

    "Identification of application or authorized representative" portion of the "Signature Requirement" section: If the head of the household is unable to fill out the application, the relation to the head of household, or power of attorney, etc. would be indicated in this field and their signature must be included in the "Signature of agency representative".

    How do I qualify for heat and energy assistance?
    To qualify, you must be at or below 150% of the 2016/17 Federal Poverty Guidelines: 150 FPGL.jpg emPower can only provide financial assistance if the total gross income of everyone living in the home is at or less than the amount listed for your family size. Gross income is the total amount of income before taxes and deductions.

    "Federal poverty guidelines" means the poverty guidelines published annually in the federal register by the United States Department of Health and Human Services under its authority to revise the poverty line under section 673(2) of subtitle B of title VI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, 42 USC9902.

    You must have a past due or shut-off notice on an energy bill. (If there is a prepayment account for natural gas or electric services, a payment cannot be made if the balance exceeds $100). We cannot assist with any accounts that have been referred to a collection agency, or has been identified as  Theft/Fraud, or Bankrupt. All Theft/Fraud charges must be paid by the client prior to emPower being able to assist.  Fuel oil/propane tank must contain less than 25%, have a below minimum balance on a prepay account, or must have 14 days or less in wood, wood pellets, coal, etc.

    What documents are required to apply?
    The application must have all individuals listed that are living in the household. You must include their birth date and nine-digit Social Security number.

    All pages of the application must be completed, signed and dated.

    Person signing and dating the application must provide a readable copy of their ID and Social Security card. The different forms of ID that is accepted are:

    »Driver's license. Include copy of the back of the driver's license if an address change has been processed.
    »State-issued ID.
    »School-issued ID.
    »Document indicating a client's receipt of benefits under a program which requires verification of identity (Supplement Security Income, Retirement Survivor's Disability Insurance).
    »Identification for health benefits.
    »Voter registration card.
    »Birth certificate/record.
    »US military card or draft record.
    »US passport.
    »Certificate of Naturalization (Department of Homeland Security (DHS) forms N-550 or N-570.
    »Military dependent's identification card.
    »Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood, or other US American Indian/Alaska native tribal document.
    »US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card.

    Proof of the past 30 days of all household income.

    Copy of utility bill(s) that you are seeking assistance: (No bill required for propane, fuel oil, firewood, wood pellets, or coal unless you have a past-due balance).

    What proofs of income does emPower require?
    Household income refers to total cash receipts before taxes from all sources and for all household members.

    COUNTABLE EARNED INCOME
    »Past 30 days earnings from work as an employee (wages, salary, college work-study, commissions, tips).
    »Profit and loss statement for the past 30 days of earnings for self-employment (receipts from an individual's own business or from an owned or rented farm after deductions for business or farm expenses). Deductions for expenses of producing self-employment income (such as capital expenditures, labor costs, transportation costs while on the job, materials, loan and property payments, taxes, insurance, etc.) are not allowed.
    »Past 30 days training allowances paid to persons enrolled in sheltered workshops.
    »Past 30 days rental income, room and board.
    »Past 30 days child development and care (CDC) and chore services payments to providers paid by DHHS.

    COUNTABLE UNEARNED INCOME
    »FIP (Family Independence Program)
    »SDA (State Disability Assistance)
    »Social Security Benefits
    »RSDI (Retirement Survivor's Disability Insurance)
    »SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
    »SSI (State Supplemental payments)
    »Alimony, child support and child support participation payments
    »VA benefits, except clothing allowance or the court ordered amount for aid and attendance
    »Lump sum payments of accumulated monthly benefits
    »Payments from sick and accident insurance plans
    »Pensions and retirement benefits
    »Unemployment benefits
    »Workers' compensation
    »Strike benefits
    »Income received from the sale of property
    »Military allotments
    »Investment income, such as dividends, interest and royalties paid directly to the client
    »Income from annuities, bonds, stock and trusts
    »Adoption subsidy payments
    »GAP (Guardianship Assistance Program) payments

    EXAMPLES OF ACCEPTABLE INCOME VERIFICATION DOCUMENTATION
    Income of all household members must be thoroughly documented and verified using third-party documentation. Client must provide proof of all income for the past 30 days. The following items are examples of acceptable income verification documentation:

    »Copies of checks or check stubs for the past 30 days from the date you signed your application.  Stubs must include employer name and employee name..
    »Written statements from employers. Written statements from the department, organization or person administering the payment, which shows the monthly amount of the benefit, the amount of deductions, and confirming whether or not the deductions are mandatory.
    »Written statements of persons paying money to client member in cases where the client provides child care, chore services, room and board, or other services for pay.
    »Alimony or spousal support statements/letters.
    »Interest, annuities or dividends statements/letters.
    »Your current award letters for unearned income that is only verified once per year such as SSI, Social Security benefits, Veterans Affairs benefits, or pension/retirement income.
    »DHS-38, Verification of Employment.
    »Business receipts.
    »Accounting other business records for self-employed persons.
    »Electronic data exchange with reliable income sources.

    INCOME WE DO NOT COUNT
    »Federal tax return refund.
    »Reimbursement of Medicare premiums.
    »Income in kind (not in form of cash).
    »Earned income for a dependent child when both of the following conditions are met:
    The accumulated earnings are held in a savings account of which the dependent child who earned the money is the sole owner.
    The accumulated earnings are not commingled with money from another source.
    »Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit and Home Heating Credit.
    »Earned Income Credit.
    »All services program benefits paid by DHHS on behalf of a household member (such as foster care and Child Development and Care payments.
    »Income of the applicant's spouse when the application is in an emergency shelter as a victim of domestic violence.
    »Reimbursement for past, current or future training-related, medical or volunteer expenses.
    »Compensation awarded for a particular use (such as Victim's Compensation Award).
    »Disaster relief assistance.
    »Education grants, scholarships and benefits.
    »Michigan Department of Community Health family support subsidy payments.
    »WIC program benefits.
    »Title VII nutrition program for the elderly.
    »LIHEAP energy assistance benefits.
    »Child nutrition and school lunch benefits.
    »FAP (Food Assistance Program benefits).
    »A utility allowance that is part of a state or federal housing assistance program.
    »Housing assistance that is paid pursuant to any state or federal law, including:
    Title II of the Uniform Relocation and Real Property Acquisition Act of 1970.
    US Housing Act of 1937
    Experimental Housing Allowance Program made under Annual Contribution Contracts entered into prior to January 1, 1975.
    National Housing Act.
    Section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act (HUD) of 1965.
    Housing Choice Voucher Program (previously known as Section 8 Housing).
    Household members who are absent from the home for 90 consecutive days or more are excluded from the household and therefore, their income is excluded.

    WHAT DOES "IN THE PAST 30 DAYS" MEAN?
    TrueNorth's emPower program is required by the State of Michigan to receive the past 30 days proof of income from the date you signed your application. Example: If you worked 4 weeks prior to the date you signed the application, then we need four consecutive pay stubs in date order (if there were 5 weeks, we will have to receive 5 pay stubs). If you worked less than 4/5 weeks prior to signing your application, you must send in what pay stubs you have for work completed and a note with a statement explaining why you didn't work a full 30 days.

    WHAT IF I AM SELF EMPLOYED?
    We require you to send in a profit and loss statement showing your income and expenses for the past 30 days from the date you signed your application.

    What services are covered?
    »When a household's heat or electric service(s) at current residence are in past due status, in threat of shut off or are already shut off.
    »Payment may be made for any qualified applicant on a prepayment account for natural gas (must be your heat source) or electric services when the balance remaining in the account does not exceed $100.
    »Deposits, special trip charges, pilot relights, pressure checks, reconnect fees, and related charges such as storage tank (pig) installation, delivery or rental can be paid if they are necessary to prevent an emergency and are required by the energy provider.

    What services are not covered?
    »
    Unauthorized or illegal use of requested service provider.
    »Regulated utility/energy provider late fees (click here for a list regulated and unregulated providers).
    »Regulated utility/energy provider unregulated services such as appliance repair or appliance protection programs.
    »Bankrupt accounts.
    »Used for cooking purposes.
    »emPower cannot authorize payment for service used in businesses or nonresidential buildings or facilities such as rental units, garages, stores, or nonresidential farm uses. When a bill represents combined residential and nonresidential or business usage, emPower can authorize payment for the residential use portion and the group applying for the energy services pays the nonresidential costs.

    In the case of a client who works in their own home, if the bill is in the client's name and the service address is the same as the client's residence address, it is considered a residential bill and payment may be authorized. If the bill is in the name of the client's business, it is considered a commercial bill and payment cannot be authorized.

    »Common meter/service situations. This occurs when one meter or heat/electric unit serves more than one residential unit or residence. If the energy provider can verify the group's actual usage and the provider will accept the household's portion and maintain services, payment may be made in full.

    »Payments to residential landlords, residential management companies, billing service agencies, or collection agencies are not eligible to receive emergency service or MEAP funds, as they are not actual service providers.

    »Payment shall not be issued for energy services when the usages is in violation of the federal law. Example: A client has requested assistance for an electric shut off which includes costs associated to manufacturing "medical" marijuana. The client is not eligible for MEAP since federal law, 21 U.S.C. 841(1) prohibits the manufacturing of marijuana.

    »Air conditioning billing separate from residential electric service.

    »Secondary household fuel types; payment will only be approved for the primary heating source. Example: If you heat with both wood and propane, you must choose what service you want assistance. Any future assistance will only be authorized for the primary heat source.

    How long does it take to process my application?
    It can take up to 10-business days to process a complete application. 

    If you return an application that is incomplete, you will receive a missing document letter through the mail.  If you are sent a missing document letter and we don't receive the requested information in 8-business days, we will deny your application. If you still need assistance, you will need to reapply.

    How will I know if TrueNorth received my application?
    You can call 231-355-5880 to check the status of your application, or you can use our online query system by clicking here.

    How will I know if I have been approved or denied for assistance?
    Once TrueNorth has determined you are eligible for emPower heat and energy assistance, a Payment Processor will contact you first by phone and then a commitment letter will be mailed. If you are denied, we will mail you a letter.

    I was denied for assistance, now what do I do?
    If you received a denial letter and you feel the determination is incorrect, you can fill out the "Request for Review" included with your letter and send to TrueNorth emPower, PO Box 149, Fremont, MI 49412. Make sure to include any supporting documents.TrueNorth will attempt to resolve this issue, but if we cannot and have come to the same determination, it will be turned over to the State of Michigan for review. It can take up to 90 days to receive a determination from the State.

    You can also contact 211 by dialing 2-1-1, 1-844-875-9211, or through their website www.mi211.org. They may be able to provide you with additional agencies that help within your county.

    Can I apply for more than one heat and energy assist?
    Yes, you are able to apply if you are past due or have a shut-off notice, have less than 25% in your fuel tank at time of delivery, and have less than 14 days of wood, wood pellets or coal. The request for assistance must be 30 days after the previous assist. Once you reach the $3,000 cap, you are unable to receive assistance from any MEAP funded agency.

    Once you receive heat and energy assistance from any MEAP funded program, you must reapply with that program until you have reached their cap or until they are out of funding. If you have reached the $3,000 cap, you are unable to apply for heat and energy assistance with any MEAP funded program.

    What do you need if I heat with propane or fuel oil?
    We need you to provide your fuel supplier, contact info and account number on page 4 of the application, and make sure you do not have more than 25% of fuel in your tank at time of delivery. emPower can only provide up to 500 gallons maximum of fuel or propane. If you have a past-due balance with your provider, you can also apply for assistance, but we do need you to send in a copy of that bill. For just a fill, we do not need to receive a bill. emPower cannot authorize gas used for cooking purposes.

    HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE 25% OR LESS IN MY FUEL OIL TANK?
    Typical tanks are 44" when full. Below is a list of the inches that would indicate 25% or less in your tank:

    »275 gallon tanks have a capacity of 27" deep when full, you would need to have 6 3/4" or less to be within 25% guideline.
    »220/275 gallon tanks have a capacity of 44" deep when full, you would need to have 11" or less to be within 25% guideline.
    »300 gallon tanks have a capacity of 38" deep, you need to have 9 1/2" or less to be within 25% guideline.
    »530/560/1050 gallon tanks have a capacity of 48" deep, you need to have 12" or less to be within 25% guideline. Remember we can only authorize up to 500 gallons max.
    »1000/1500 gallon tanks have a capacity of 64" deep, you need to have 16" or less to be within 25% guideline. Remember we can only authorize up to 500 gallons max.

    The information above is only to be used as a guideline.

    • What do you need if I request electric and/or natural gas assist?
      When a household's heat or electric service for their current residence is past due status, in threat of shut off or is already shut off and must be restored, payment may be authorized to the energy service provider.

      Payment may be made on a prepayment account for natural gas or electric services when the balance remaining in the account does not exceed $100.

      Deposits, special trip charges, pilot relights, reconnect fees and related charges can be paid if they are necessary to prevent an emergency and are required by the energy provider.

      emPower cannot authorize payment for appliance repair or appliance protection programs. If you have these programs on your bill at time of authorization, the amounts will be deducted from the commitment.

      emPower cannot authorize payment for gas used for cooking purposes. 

      emPower cannot authorize payment for service used in businesses or nonresidential buildings or facilities such as rental units, garages, stores, or nonresidential farm uses. When a bill represents combined residential and nonresidential or business usage, emPower can authorize payments for the residential portion only if the utility can provide an approximate breakdown showing the residential use portion and the group applying for the energy services pays the nonresidential costs.

      In the case of a client who works in their own home, if the bill is in the client's name and the service address is the same as the client's residence address, it is considered a residential bill and payment may be authorized. If the bill is in the name of the client's business, it is considered a commercial bill and payment cannot be authorized.

      Payment shall not be issued for energy services when the usage is in violation of the federal law. Example: A client has requested assistance for an electric shut off which includes costs associated to manufacturing "medical" marijuana. The client is not eligible for MEAP since federal law, 21 U.S.C. 841(1) prohibits the manufacturing of marijuana.

      What if I have a common meter/service situation?
      This occurs when one meter or heat/electric unit serves more than one residential unit or residence. If the energy provider can verify the group's actual usage and the provider will accept the household's portion and maintains service, payment may be made in full.

      What if I have fraud/theft/bankrupt listed on my account?
      emPower is unable to authorize energy services to be paid for accounts that have been identified with bankruptcy. If you are able to resolve the issue and it is no longer listed on your account, you can reapply.  If account is identified with Theft/Fraud, you would be responsible to pay any theft/fraud charges prior to emPower being able to authorize any payments.  If you are able to resolve the issue and it is no longer listed on your account, you can reapply. 

      What does emPower need if I request wood, wood pellets, coal, etc. assist?
      The State requires that you have less than 14 days left at time of delivery to apply for assistance. Please provide your supplier's information on page 4 of the application. If you do not have a supplier, just indicate that on your application and we will provide one at time of delivery.

      If you know of anyone who wants to become a vendor for TrueNorth, please refer to "How to become an energy provider/vendor for TrueNorth?" You can also have them contact Brenda Kota at 231-924-0641 x200. 

      Does emPower pay any other utility bills?
      We are only able to help with heat and energy bills. We do not cover water bills.

      Does emPower provide any other supportive services?
      Along with the financial assistance, emPower also provides additional supportive services.We have expanded our heat and energy services to include energy savings products, education, and budgeting to help households reduce their bills, along with self-sufficiency programs.

      I don't have my Social Security card, what can I do?
      As a condition of eligibility, households must cooperate in obtaining a Social Security card. If you don't have one, you can apply for a Social Security card by clicking here. If you do not have an account set up, you will have to register before requesting a replacement card. We can use the letter that states that the Social Security Administration has received your request for your card. Once you receive your card, you must send us a copy of your card for your file within six months. Failure to provide a copy of your card will result in an overpayment on your account and authorized payment will be requested to be returned to TrueNorth.

      I have a newborn and have not received their Social Security number (SSN) yet?
      A newborn is assigned a SSN via the Enumeration at Birth process, and the parent provides any of the following documents:

      »SSA-2852, Information about when you will receive your baby's Social Security card.
      »A copy of a signed State of Michigan Certificate of Live Birth indicating that a Social Security card was requested.
      »A modified birth document, indicating a Social Security card was requested.

      Failure to provide your baby's Social Security number within six months from your assist will result in an overpayment on your account and authorized payment will be requested to be returned to TrueNorth.

      Is there a cap on assistance?
      There is a total of $3,000 cap for all assistance from any and all MEAP funded programs. So if you get assistance from one agency and you reach your cap or funding is exhausted with this agency, you can come to TrueNorth. TrueNorth will only assist until you reach the combined assistance from the $3,000 cap.

      I have an SER from DHHS, can I get assistance from TrueNorth emPower program?
      emPower does not require that a household be denied assistance by the DHHS local office or any other service provider as a condition of eligibility. TrueNorth can assist with the your co-pay portion of an SER. You must fill out an emPower application in order to apply.

      What is the contact information for emPower?
      TELEPHONE NUMBER: 231-355-5880 (1-855-300-8013)
      EMAIL ADDRESS: info@truenorthservices.org
      APPLICATION EMAIL ADDRESS: applications@tnempower.org

          DTE LSP Program applications:  dteapps@tnempower.org 
         Consumer's CARE Program applications:  careapps@tnempower.org
        MAILING ADDRESS: TrueNorth emPower, PO Box 149, Fremont, MI 49412-0149

  • Where is TrueNorth's main office located?
    6308 S Warner Ave, Fremont MI 49412

    How do I become an energy provider/vendor for TrueNorth?
    In order to work with MEAP funded programs, you must be registered with the State by filling out the Energy Supplier Participation Agreement (click here for form) and return to the Lansing, Michigan (address on form). You will receive your 7-digit DHHS provider number. Once you receive this number, you are able to work with any MEAP funded programs/agencies.

    You will also have to register with the State of Michigan through their Contract and Payment Express System (C&PE) at www.cpexpress.state.mi.us. Registration on C&PE is a requirement for all energy providers and vendors wishing to receive payments from TrueNorth on the behalf of low-income households through our heat and energy grant.

    Once you have received your DHHS 7-digit provider number and have registered through the C&PE, you will have to fill out the following two documents and return to TrueNorth emPower, Attention: Vendor Specialist, PO Box 149, Fremont, MI 49412, email dbush@tnempower.org.

    Documents: Provider Information      W-9

    Once a client is approved, how, as a vendor, will I receive a commitment?
    Once TrueNorth approves a low-income client for service from your company, a TrueNorth Payment Processor will contact you to authorize service, schedule a delivery and provide a commitment.

    A signed receipt by both you (or your delivery person) and the client for any deliverable fuel is required, except for propane (we must receive an invoice showing the before fill and after fill percentage). An invoice is required for electric and gas service. After the delivered authorized fuel, submit the signed receipt and invoice to TrueNorth by email or mail (TrueNorth emPower, Attention Vendor Payments, PO Box 149, Fremont, MI 49412). Propane delivery must show before percentage in the tank and after fill percentage.

    Once invoice/receipt is received a payment is made within 30 days via paper check.

    Grantees are required to issue a 1099-Misc Form to each vendor (provider) who receives $600 or more in MEAP funds. TrueNorth will mail each vendor a 1099 before January 31, 2017 and another before January 31, 2018 depending on what year you received payments.

    TrueNorth Community Services is a non-profit organization and is considered tax exempt. Keep the this letter in your files for your tax purposes.

    Are there any other energy resources?
    Alliance to Save Energy (for children and adults)
    Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm 
    Consumers Energy 
    DTE Energy 
    Department of Energy 
    Great Lakes Energy 
    Michigan Public Service Commission 
    State of Michigan