Assistance with utility bills from Consumer Energy in Michigan.
The majority of assistance programs offered by Consumer Energy are administered by the federal government and state of Michigan. The utility provider can direct customers to those various services, and provide more details on exactly what they cover and pay for. However Consumer Energy in Michigan will also be able to provide payment plans to qualified families. You will need to call to learn more about those options and services.
Disconnection prevention and shut off plans from Consumer Energy
There are a few different services, and the specifics on which are available will partly depend on the applicants age, whether it is winter or not, and other factors. The company really does not want to turn off someone’s power, and that step will always be taken as a last resort. However low income customers do need to ask for help for paying energy bills, and they will need to apply too.
Shut-off Protection Plan (SPP) – This service is offered year round for Consumer Energy income qualified families. In general, the customers income will need to be at or below 200 percent of the federal government income eligibility guidelines. This is set by the state of Michigan, and Consumer Energy did not establish this income criteria. Participants will need to make a partial payment on their unpaid bills, and also enter into a budget payment plan. Dial (800) 477-5050 to learn more or to apply for financial assistance and SPP.
The state of Michigan Winter Protection Plan can also prevent a shut off of a qualified customers utility and heating service. A focus is on seniors and people over age 65, as well as low income families and other struggling customers of Consumer Energy. The program can help reduce or stop heating service shut-offs and address a household’s high payments during the cold Michigan winter, which includes the timeframe of November 1 to March 31. Please note that customers in the Michigan Winter Protection Plan are still responsible for paying their natural gas and electricity bills, however some deferment of those costs can occur.
People will still need to pay some money towards their bills even if they are on the Winter Protection Plan. For example, even at the end of the protection period that will be put into place, all clients will still need to make arrangements to pay the bills that accrued and need to enter into an agreement or payment plan with Consumer Energy. Many people who now receive public assistance will qualify for this service too.
Consumers Energy Medical Emergency Protection may protect customers who have a documented health crisis or medical emergency. It can help people for up to 21 days, and ensure their power is not cut off during that timeframe while they deal with the medical condition. Call (800) 477-5050.
Consumers Energy will also put special focus on people who are 65 or older and who are also the head of the household. These individuals may also qualify for no late payment charges, shut-off protection and automatic eligibility for a payment plan. This will be provided regardless of a customer’s income, and people should dial (800) 477-5050.
Consumer Energy Payment Arrangements offers both customer service representatives as well as a solution called eServices. Both are offered to help consumers enter into payment arrangements for their bills.
Loans and tax credits are available across Michigan. A low interest loan can help people pay for items such as furnaces or heating units. Credits can be claimed on your tax return. Learn more on Michigan public assistance programs.
The Salvation Army works closely with Consumer Energy and other Michigan utility companies to offer families the PeopleCare financial assistance program. It is an emergency program, and aid is usually offered for people who have lost their job, have unexpected medical bills, or who are undergoing a foreclosure. PeopleCare addresses a number of needs, including heating and utility bills. Credits can also be offered for energy bills. Dial (800) 477-5050.
State Emergency Relief is run by the Michigan Department of Human Services. Residents who need deliverable fuel or who have received a disconnection notice may qualify for a cash grant for paying bills. The website MI Bridges will also accept applications.
Of course people can always save money on their bills from the Low-Income Weatherization program. This is offered for both homeowners as well as people who rent their home. Weatherization can save hundreds of dollars per year and is free to qualified Consumer Energy families. Services can include caulking, weather stripping, floor insulation and smoke detectors, among other steps.
Dial (800) 477-5050 to speak to a customer service representative from Consumer Energy in Michigan.
Other state of Michigan, federal government, or charity programs include these listed below.
Families with a member serving active duty in the military may qualify for shut off protection too. These military families may apply for shut-off protection from Consumer Energy for up to 90 days, and they may also request an extension of this protection by reapplying as well as needed. However please keep in mind that money will still be owed. People who use this program will be required to pay for the energy and heat they used during their participation in this financial assistance program. Military members in Michigan will have a payment plan established for any past due amounts owed.
Michigan Veteran’s Trust Fund – Short term assistance is offered for veterans and their families. This is offered in the form of funds for paying an old utility bill. Call (517) 373-3130
THAW, also known as the Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), may be able to offer financial help to those low income families who are in danger of losing electricity or heat during the winter months. A nonprofit organization in Michigan runs THAW, and it works off of donations from customer, employees, churches, and local non-profits. Money can be offered to Consumer energy low income and other qualified customers during the winter. Call (800) 866-THAW to ask for help.