JACKSON, Mich., Jan. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy announced today that it's donating $10 million that will go directly to helping people in need with their energy bills – assistance that will help thousands of families to stay safe and warm through this cold Michigan winter.
"We are committed to serving our Michigan communities, which includes our most vulnerable residents, such as seniors and families that may be facing challenges in paying their energy bills," said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy's senior vice president for customer experience. "With temperatures below freezing, we want people to know that help is always available and is just a phone call away."
Consumers Energy is encouraging people who are facing hardship to call 2-1-1, a free service in all Michigan counties that connects people with resources in their community.
People who call 2-1-1 might be referred to six nonprofit organizations that are receiving the $10 million from Consumers Energy. They are:
- Michigan Community Action
- The Salvation Army
- The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW)
- TrueNorth Community Services
- Society of St. Vincent DePaul
- United Way of Jackson County
The $10 million contribution also will help enroll as many as 10,000 additional households in the CARE (Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy) program, which includes monthly credits toward energy bills as well as assistance on past-due balances. Qualified participants also receive access to energy-saving tools, including in-home energy efficiency upgrades.
Consumers Energy mailed postcards in mid-December to 90,000 customers who were behind on their bills, reminding them that assistance is available. Consumers Energy does not perform energy disconnections when temperatures are below 15 degrees.
"It's important that people do not wait to fall behind on their bills before seeking help," Rich said. "Assistance is available today, and people can take steps to ensure they stay warm even on Michigan's coldest days."
Consumers Energy's contribution is in addition to nearly $90 million in federal and state heating assistance funds that are available to nonprofit agencies across Michigan.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE : CMS ), providing natural gas and/or 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
CALL 2-1-1: Dial 2-1-1 first to find out what resources are available in your community. Learn more at www.mi211.org.
CONSUMERS ENERGY: Learn about Consumers Energy's CARE program: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/CARE
LEARN MORE: Check out winter safety tips and ways to use less energy when it's cold: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/coldweather
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SOURCE Consumers Energy