Temporary fix may help more low-income residents with heat bills - WNEM TV 5

Temporary fix may help more low-income residents with heat bills

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A state program that used to provide heating assistance to 95,000 low-income Michigan residents remains in limbo, but a temporary solution may be worked out this week to help more people stay warm.

Rep. Ken Horn says he's hoping a Wednesday meeting between state officials and Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy staff will lead to a fix until another way to fund the program can be found.

He'd like to see the two utilities agree to turn on indigent customers' heat and keep it on through winter, then roll the unpaid bills into their next rate increase.

Michigan law forbids utility companies from shutting off heat between Nov. 1 and March 30 to customers aged 65 and older.

But others could face being disconnected if they can't pay their bills.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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