Utilities: Don't Wait to Seek Heating Help During Cold Winter Months
Thursday, January 13, 2022
With Michigan receiving more federal funding for home heating assistance, utility companies are also chipping in to help people stay warm this winter, as gas prices rise.
Consumers Energy, the state's largest utility, is committing $4.5 million in the next year, including $1 million for the winter and $3.5 million for a pilot program to assist their most vulnerable customers.
And Detroit-based DTE Energy is donating $5 million to agencies helping people keep up with their bills.
Brian Lewis, executive director of customer relations for Consumers Energy, said having home heating during Michigan winters is non-negotiable.
"Every winter obviously brings with it its own set of challenges," Lewis explained. "We live in Michigan, we know that furnaces will start to run. The pandemic hasn't done much to make that any easier."
According to recent census surveys, more than 20% of Michiganders have been unable to pay their energy bills, or roughly 166,000 households. Nationwide, it is more than a million.
Lewis pointed out if you know you are going to struggle with your bills, calling 211 is a good place to start. He noted they can help you connect with local resources.
"Don't wait," Lewis urged. "If you're in need, if you know of someone in need, reach out for assistance. Between state, federal and our own corporate funding, there are plenty of dollars available, so really don't suffer in silence."
Consumers can apply for state emergency assistance through the Department of Health and Human Services, a home-heating credit at the Office of the Treasury, or for emergency rental assistance through a Community Action Agency.
He said they can also call Consumers Energy to talk about possible payment plans.
Assistance announcement Consumers Energy 01/06/2022
Heating assistance DTE Energy 01/10/2022
Household Pulse Survey Census Bureau 2022
LIHEAP program U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services 2022
Home heating credit Mich. Dept. of the Treasury 2022
Emergency rental assistance Mich. Community Action 2022
get more stories like this via email
Nevada is set to lose 8% of its Colorado River water allotment next year because of perilously low water levels at Lakes Mead and Powell caused by a 2…
Although President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, many are hoping he will declare a climate emergency to provide further …
The Bureau of Land Management is kicking off its planning process for managing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with several public hearing…
The midterm elections are less than three months away, and in Iowa, recruiting continues for those interested in helping at polling sites, where the …
As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defends and expands his call to have military veterans bypass the teacher certification process to become educators…
President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law Tuesday, providing a means for making prescription drug prices more affordable in the …
Health and Wellness
A relatively new virus known as monkeypox has made its way to the state of Washington. About 280 cases have been reported, with 240 occurring in King …
Health and Wellness
Coloradans struggling economically put their health at risk when they decide not to turn on cooling systems, frequently out of fear of not being able …