JACKSON, Mich., Oct. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy announced today that it is partnering with Michigan nonprofit organizations to make $12 million available to help over 30,000 families across the state stay warm and keep the lights on this winter.
Consumers Energy is working with five nonprofit organizations that will provide the funding and work directly with people who need help managing their bills. The nonprofit organizations are The Salvation Army, Michigan Community Action, The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), the St. Vincent DePaul Society and TrueNorth Community Services.
"We know there's a need for help across the 68 counties that we serve. We're providing assistance now, so that residents can act today and as the Michigan winter arrives, they stay ahead of their energy bills," said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy's senior vice president of distribution and customer operations. "Michigan always has cold winters, but help is available. We encourage people to reach out to these agencies, which do impressive work every day to help people on the path to self-sufficiency."
Consumers Energy is helping Michigan residents in other ways heading into this winter. Its CARE program is currently enrolling as many as 16,000 households in an affordable long-term payment plan to manage their energy bills. CARE provides customers with monthly bill credits, together with the opportunity to receive forgiveness of past-due balances and to receive free in-home energy efficiency upgrades that reduce energy costs.
In November, Consumers Energy customers will also receive important information regarding assistance programs along with their bills. The information will describe company payment plans options, as well as outside help such as the nonprofit agencies mentioned above, the Department of Health and Human Services State Emergency Relief program, the Michigan Home Heating Credit and more.
The Company encourages anyone who is looking for available assistance in their community to start by calling 2-1-1, a free service that can refer people to local assistance programs, or by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/assistance.
"It is important that people know help is available," Rochow said. "We encourage anyone facing hardship to take action immediately and not fall behind on their bills. If we can build awareness, we can help many more people stay safe and warm this winter."
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
Help is available
Energy assistance is available from several sources:
CALL 2-1-1: Dial 2-1-1 first to find out what resources are available in your community.
CARE: Learn more about Consumers Energy's CARE program at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/CARE
CONSUMERS ENERGY: Learn about Consumers Energy programs that can help with your energy bill: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/assistance
Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media
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SOURCE Consumers Energy