Thursday, October 21, 2021

Play

New research suggests ways to make the transition from education to career pathway smoother for young people, many of whom arenít landing the right job until their 30s; and Republicans block voting rights reforms for a third time.

Play

The White House scrambles to quell supply chain backlogs, Republicans block another voting rights bill, and a majority of Americans now believes the Supreme Court bases decisions on politics, not the constitution.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Millions Available to Ease Burden of MI Winter Heating Costs

Play

Wednesday, March 31, 2021   

LANSING, Mich. - Winter may no longer have a grip on Michigan, but some folks might be feeling a chill just by opening their next home heating bill.

Furnaces were working overtime last month because of a cold snap, and Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, vice president for customer experience at Consumers Energy, said utility customers could find their bills are 25% higher or more.

"February was actually one of the five coldest Februarys on record, and so we know customers might see a little bit of sticker shock," she said, "and we also know that there are tremendous amounts of dollars and resources available that have been untapped."

No matter the circumstance, Snyder said there are programs to help every type of utility customer. Consumers Energy and other utilities offer payment arrangements. People also can call 211 to be connected with nonprofit agencies that can assist with applications for a Home Heating Credit or State Emergency Relief.

A year into the pandemic, an estimated 38% of Michigan households are living above the federal poverty level, and yet don't earn enough to afford their basic daily living expenses. Snyder said Consumers Energy already has provided $15 million in assistance to get energy bills paid since last fall.

"This could be the very first time that they're experiencing a situation where they don't know how they're going to pay their energy bill. That's happening to many people right now, and we are here to help you figure out a solution," she said. "The other thing to do is to call 211 or go to MI211.org."

According to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, U.S. households owe more than $27 billion in utility energy debt this year, compared with $11 billion at the end of 2019.

Disclosure: Consumers Energy contributes to our fund for reporting on Community Issues and Volunteering, Energy Policy, Environment, LGBTQIA Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
California, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia were selected for the REACH Collaborative for their efforts to serve and support adult learners and demonstrated commitment to equitable student success. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DENVER - On Wednesday, leaders from Colorado's 13 community colleges joined a national effort to help more of the state's adults get credentials and …


Social Issues

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Today, a virtual summit hosted by the Las Vegas Mayor's Faith Initiative looks at the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous …

Social Issues

HOUSTON -- Many U.S. communities with bustling downtowns were better prepared to weather economic fallout from the pandemic, thanks to a decades-old …


Although people spent less time on average on Facebook than some other social media sites, the vast majority said they'd had arguments there. (jpgon/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SEATTLE - Constructive conversations online can seem few and far between. Research from the University of Washington explores how the design of …

Health and Wellness

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Advocates for Iowans with disabilities are sounding the alarm over what they describe as a caregiver crisis, pleading with …

In addition to protecting shorelines, Minnesota lake advocates say enhanced boater training could protect all lake users from powerful waves that come from bigger watercraft. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

BRAINERD, Minn. - Minnesota boat owners are storing their watercraft for the winter. But that isn't stopping the conversation about responsible water …

Social Issues

BOISE, Idaho - Millions of members around the world, including some Idahoans, are observing International Credit Union Day today. This year marks 73…

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- As finding a career becomes more difficult for young people, a new report said the U.S. needs a more comprehensive approach to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021