PNS Daily Newscast - February 22, 2018 

President Trump holds a listening session at the White House as the demand for action to curb gun violence spreads across the nation. Also on today's rundown: an Arizona ballot initiative would require 50-percent renewable energy by 2030; and a new report suggests local democracy is being "run over" by Lyft and Uber.

Daily Newscasts

Summertime Help Available For Winter Heating

Help is available now so income-qualified residents can keep the heat on this winter. (hillarycl/morguefile)
Help is available now so income-qualified residents can keep the heat on this winter. (hillarycl/morguefile)
August 15, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – While most Michiganders are still soaking up summer, colder weather will be here before long, and the deadline is fast approaching to apply for assistance to help keep warm this winter.

The Michigan Home Heating Credit is based on household income and size, and is available to both homeowners and renters.

Whitney Skeans, a customer assistance manager with Consumers Energy, says the funds can go a long way toward helping vulnerable residents, as the average credit last year was about $170.

"If you're heating with electric, or if you're heating with gas, it gets directly applied to your account if you're a Consumers Energy customer, and if you're not it would be issued to you for your heat services," she explains.

The deadline to apply for the credit is September 30, and the application can be found on the Department of Treasury website, at Consumers Energy's assistance site, at Secretary of State branches, and at most public libraries. Free help in filling out the form is available by dialing 211.

Skeans says even if your income doesn't require you to file taxes, you may still qualify for the credit, which she says offers benefits beyond heat help.

"So if you're a food-assistance client, and you receive the home heating credit, you would be eligible for receiving expanded food allocation for the year," she adds.

Most years, more than 300,000 Michiganders receive the credit, however, census data shows many more households meet the income guidelines.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI