Programs to help struggling customers pay heating bills - WNEM TV 5

Programs to help struggling customers pay heating bills

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Higher heat and electric bills during the winter months can be a burden on families already struggling to get by.

That's why Consumers Energy and the United Way are teaming up to help keep homes heated this winter.

"We are trying to ensure that every customer here in Michigan is able to afford and keep their heat and lights on," said Whitney Skeans, Consumers Energy’s customer assistance manager.

Skeans said there are a variety of programs to ensure your power doesn't get turned off. One of those programs is the Michigan Energy Assistance Program.

Representatives at Consumers Energy also said there are special heating programs for senior citizens. Under Michigan law no one over the age of 65 should get their heat turned off during the winter months.

Skeans said for low income people there is the care program, which offers customers challenged to pay bills assistance with past due balances and future payment.

She said communication is key and to let your energy company know if you run into any hardships over the winter.

"Heat and energy is not a luxury in Michigan. It's a necessity and we want to make sure every customer stays safe. And when they have some challenges they know how to connect to help," Skeans said.

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