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Millions of dollars available to pay winter heating bills

Millions of dollars available to pay winter heating bills

LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined Consumers Energy to kick off a public campaign to make sure Michigan residents know about and can access tens of millions in federal, state and local dollars to help pay winter heating bills.

“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 to 2-1-1,” 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.”

Nessel and Consumers 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 may hit customers hard and both Nessel and Consumers want to make sure people know there is funding available to help pay those bills.

Consumers Energy and the attorney general are both reaching out to the public, 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 the 2-1-1 website.

Other ways to get help include:

Apply for State Emergency Relief (SER) on the MI Bridges webpage.

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

Apply for a Home Heating Credit via the Michigan Department of Treasury’s website.

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 more than $21 million to support customers and communities with needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No one likes to ask for help,” said Nessel, “but millions of dollars are available to help people pay their bills. Calling 2-1-1 for help will get that money to people in need.”

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