Numerous programs are in place for Michigan residents that can help them pay their utility and heating bills. Many of the utility companies that operate in the state offer their own financial assistance programs for the low income and people facing an emergency. In addition there may be some non-profit and charity type organizations, as well as Michigan government programs, that can provide further utility, heating, and electric bill payment assistance.
Most of the programs that are offered by utility companies, the state government, and other organizations in Michigan are listed below. Find who to call and get details. If you need further help, or if your utility company is not listed below, you can find other heating and utility bill assistance programs. More.
Detroit resources - Several programs, non-profits, and even utility companies offer financial assistance, grants, and conservation services for families in the city of Detroit. Receive cash, referrals, free weatherization, and more. Click here.
Michigan state wide program - The Home Heating Credit is a state of Michigan tax credit that can assist low to moderate income families and individuals who are living in Michigan. The program can help them pay for the cost of heating their homes and winter heating bills. The amount of credit is determined based on several factors, including total household income, the home's actual heating costs, as well as the number of exemptions claimed. You can call The Michigan Department of Treasury at 1-800-827-4000 to obtain the proper forms and applications.
Michigan State Emergency Relief (SER) – The SER is a low income assistance program and it provides limited help to households and families with low income who have an emergency or crisis situation that threatens their health or safety. Services covered by this heating and utility bill assistance program include home heating, electric, gas and utility bills. Call your local community action agency to apply or learn how to get assistance.
Statewide Michigan arrearage forgiveness programs, including deposit and fee waivers are provided by a number of gas companies, utilities, and power companies that participate in the state's automated positive billing system and other payment plans. Under the current positive billing program, a household that is participating in the program will need to pay a percentage of its monthly assistance grant to its utility company.
Winter Protection Plan - This heating assistance plan protects both low income and senior customers of the state of Michigan Commission-regulated electric, natural gas and rural electric cooperatives and alternative electric suppliers. It will protect these customers from a natural gas or electric service shut-off and high utility payments between the winter period of December 1 and March 31.
There are several conditions that need to met met in order to qualify, and individuals may qualify for the assistance plan if they meet any of the following criteria. If they receive Michigan Family Independence Agency cash assistance, if the applicant is age 65 or older, receive Food Stamps or Medicaid, or if the applicant has a household income at or below 200 percent of federal government poverty level.
In effect what the Michigan Winter Protection does is it allows eligible low income and other qualified customers to make monthly payments of at least 7 percent of their estimated annual gas or electric bill, along with a portion of any past-due amount that may be owed and will prevent the shut-off during that time even if their actually utility or heating bills are higher. In addition, eligible senior citizens participating in Winter Protection are not required to make specific monthly payments on their utility bill between December 1 and March 31 of each year, but they are in effect encouraged to do so to avoid higher bills when the protection period ends.
At the end of the protection period, both senior as well as low income people who are taking part in the Winter Protection plan must pay off any money owed in installments between April and November of the following year. All utility and gas companies provide this service, so in order to apply or learn more call your utility provider. Some numbers may include Aquila 800-303-0752, DTE 800-477-4747,Consumers Energy 800-477-5050, and SEMCO, 800-624-2019.
Michigan residents can be able to receive assistance from The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW). This is an independent non-profit charity organization. The THAW non-profit may be able to distribute emergency crisis funds for heating and utility bill-payment assistance across the state of Michigan and it may promote weatherization, energy conservation measures, and energy efficiency education to qualified applicants. The THAW program partners with several different local utility and gas companies who provide cash grants and emergency funding to administer and operate the assistance program in Michigan. Most of the grants go directly to low-income bill payments to help pay heating, energy, and utility bills. Call 1-800-866-8429, or get more details on energy bill assistance from Heat and Warmth Fund.
Coldwater Board of Public Utilities – This company runs the REAP assistance program, which was designed specifically for CBPU low income and other qualified customers whose total household income falls under 200 percent of the federal government poverty level. This energy conserving program will provide for the basic audit of the qualified applicant’s home or living residence that will then be followed by with both energy education and energy saving and conserving measures that may be selected for their home. Call 279-9531 x 6910.
Consumers Energy offers PeopleCare. This is a partnership between The Salvation Army as well as Consumers Energy and it was created to help Michigan households and families who may not qualify for other utility or heating assistance yet are struggling to make ends meet. Charitable donations from Consumers Energy employees and customers allow The Salvation Army to extend material financial assistance to families. The type of help provided is not just limited to utility and heating bills but it can in effect range from food to transportation to even medical needs. In addition to the direct financial assistance and cash grants, Consumers Energy also donates PeopleCare bill credits for its low-income electric, gas and utility customers, which are applied directly to a customer’s utility bill based on The Salvation Army caseworker assessment and authorization. To apply for PeopleCare you need to contact your local Salvation Army branch directly. Find more details on Consumers Energy grants and resources.
Detroit Edison - Individuals have several ways to get help with paying utility bills. The energy company provides cash grants, payment plans, and energy conservation measures. They also can help families apply for federal government and state of Michigan resources. Read more on DTE Energy assistance programs.
Federal government assistance- The two main Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funded resources in Michigan are Weatherization and the Home Heating Credit. Cash grants are provided to low income families to help them pay their heating and utility bills. In addition, free energy conservation measures can be undertaken. Read more heating credit and weatherization.
Indiana Michigan Power can be reached at 800-334-7670. They run an assistance program known as Energy Share, which provides financial assistance and cash grants that can be used to help pay electric bills, and assistance is available for low-income customers. You will need to apply to the Energy Share program by setting up an appointment with a local nonprofit organization, such as the Salvation Army or your local community action agency. Several other programs are offered by this energy company. Learn more.
Lansing Board of Water & Light - Pennies for Power Program may be able to provide utility or heating service shutoff protection for low-income families in the Lansing Michigan area. Dial 517-371-6006
Michigan Gas Utilities - This utility company provides natural gas service to hundreds of thousands of customers across the state. Most of the services are provided in the Monroe, Grand Haven, Benton Harbor, Otsego, and Coldwater Michigan areas of the state. Assistance programs can both help people pay their bills, and conserve energy. Continue.
Programs for heating bills - Every electric, natural gas, and utility provider in Michigan offers assistance during the winter. Help may come directly from the company or other non-profits that they partner with. Find how low income and struggling customers can get support from Michigan heating bill assistance programs.
Semco Energy Gas - This utility company offers low income and other qualified customers several different payment options. Households with excessively high annual energy bills can also explore conservation programs such as free weatherization. Examples of the assistance available can include installment arrangements (for unpaid bills), payment plans, and state or federal programs such as LIHEAP and/or the cold weather rule. Learn more.
The Salvation Army provides utility, energy, and heating bill assistance throughout the State of Michigan to qualified applicants. Over 150 Salvation Army caseworkers, who are currently working at more than 90 service locations across the state, may be able to help families or individuals pay their utility bills in order to get through a short term crisis or emergency. The Salvation Army receives in-person requests throughout the year from individuals around the state during normal weekday hours, as well as telephone inquiries and referrals from other charities, government programs and human service agencies. The Salvation Army or Michigan also provides a holistic approach to meet more than just the utility need. For example, low income, unemployed and working poor may be able to get assistance including, but not limited to, budget and debt counseling, free food, rental assistance, counseling and emotional support as necessary. Call the Salvation Army in your local town or county.
Tri County Electric – Two programs offered are the People Fund and Operation Round Up. The program is funded by local individual and customer donations, that are then used to provide funds for individuals, families and community organizations. Grant Guidelines include: $2,500 in total maximum in grants to any one family or individual per year to help pay bills. To qualify for the emergency financial grant, your family needs to be located in the Tri-County Electric service area, which includes portions of Barry, Jackson , Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Mecosta, Montcalm, Saginaw, and Osceola counties. Call 1-800-562-8232 for an Application form.