By Sheri L. Stuart, Staff Writer
Consumers Energy recently announced that Michigan families in need can get help this winter paying their energy bills. As part of the agency’s CARE Program, an estimated 7,000 households will receive assistance
“Funds are available on a first come, first served basis,” said Brian Wheeler, a company spokesperson. “This is our third year of the program. We’re hopeful that funds will be available again next year.”
The CARE program allows customers to get on a path to self-sufficiency by providing an affordable payment plan with monthly credits and gradual forgiveness of past-due balances to reward on-time payments. Participants also qualify for energy-saving tools, including free in-home energy efficiency upgrades.
Consumers Energy encourages people who are facing hardship with energy bills or other needs to call 2-1-1, a free service in all Michigan counties that connects people with resources to help in their community.
Those who call 2-1-1 can be referred to one of the eight nonprofit organizations that are receiving the $8 million from Consumers Energy. They are United Way of Jackson County, TrueNorth Community Services, The Salvation Army, The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), Michigan Community Action Agency, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the Archdiocese of Detroit, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and Michigan Veterans Trust Fund.