Money Statewide News

Tens of Millions of Dollars Available to Pay Winter Bills After February’s ‘Brutal Cold’

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Consumers Energy are launching a public campaign today to ensure Michigan residents take advantage of tens of millions in federal, state and local dollars that will help households and small businesses pay winter heating bills.

Nessel and Michigan’s largest energy provider are teaming up after two weeks of especially cold temperatures in February caused furnaces to run more often than usual. The cost of that heat will be reflected in customer bills that are arriving this month.

“No one should go without warmth or comfort in their own home when they can have access to so many dollars here in Michigan, starting with a single phone call,” Nessel said. “We know February’s brutal cold is leaving our friends and neighbors with high energy bills, but they should know they can take action now that can make a huge difference.”

“Consumers Energy is working right now to help many Michiganders who could use support due to the twin challenges of the pandemic and the cold snap,” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience. “The new federal stimulus and other sources are making tens of millions of dollars available to help with energy bills.”

Consumers Energy and the attorney general are both reaching out to the public and are promoting resources to help Michiganders. People who are struggling with energy bills should call 2-1-1, a free service that connects people with nonprofit agencies in communities across the state. They can also go to mi211.org.

Other ways to get help

· Apply for State Emergency Relief (SER) at michigan.gov/mibridges.

· Contact Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 to make payment arrangements.

· Apply for a Home Heating Credit at michigan.gov/treasury.

Consumers Energy alone has provided $15 million since last fall to help customers pay bills. In all, the company and its charitable foundation have provided over $21 million to support customers and communities with needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Consumers Energy knows asking for assistance isn’t always easy,” Snyder said. “But we want you to know money is available right here in Michigan to go toward your energy bills. Even if you didn’t qualify in the past, it’s possible you can get help today.”

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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