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
Health and Wellness
Statistics show thanks to the pandemic, Americans are now glued to their digital devices an average of 13 hours a day, up from 7 or 8 hours a day …
As Democrats in Congress struggle to get enough votes to pass new federal voter protections, Denver's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day "Marade" - a …
Today, the day after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, comes a chance to put our ideals into action on the sixth annual National Day of Racial …
Health and Wellness
As many Virginia schools pivot back to temporary virtual learning, some students are spending more time in front of screens. In response, the …
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comments through the end of this month regarding a proposal which would sharply reduce m…
Connecticut has secured its first National Estuarine Research Reserve along part of the state's Long Island Sound. Conservationists applaud the news …
A ballot initiative in Missouri is seeking to change the way statewide elections are run. Currently, in the Show-Me State, there are party primaries …
Proposed legislation would end subsidies for wood-burning power plants in Massachusetts by removing biomass as an eligible fuel source for the Commonw…