JACKSON, Mich., Feb. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As many as 25,000 Michigan households will receive help to stay warm this winter and keep the lights on throughout the year with the aid of $9 million in contributions that Consumers Energy announced today.
Consumers Energy is providing $4 million to four nonprofit organizations that work directly with people who need help managing their bills – The Salvation Army, Michigan Community Action, The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) and TrueNorth Community Services. In addition, the company is contributing an additional $5 million to its CARE program, which offers bill credits and access to energy efficiency upgrades.
"We are committed to helping the Michigan communities we serve, and we know we can make a difference by providing assistance that allows our customers to meet their basic energy needs," said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy's vice president of customer operations and quality.
"We are proud to support these important agencies that provide direct aid to help our customers in the short term, while also promoting self-sufficiency to reach their long-term goals."
The four nonprofit organizations will match the $4 million in contributions with their own money, providing assistance to as many as 20,000 Michigan households that Consumers Energy serves.
This money will provide the most impact to seniors and others who have run out of options to pay their energy bills, allowing them to navigate their way back to self-sufficiency. That's especially true during February, which Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed as Keep Michigan Warm Month.
The other $5 million will expand the reach of Consumers Energy's CARE program, which already was expected to enroll 14,000 customers this winter. The money will allow another 5,000 customers to join, providing them with bill credits of 40 percent, the ability to pay down overdue bills and to receive energy efficiency upgrades that reduce energy costs.
"The CARE program is in its second year, and we are seeing it make a tremendous difference in people's lives. This is meaningful help for some of our most vulnerable customers," Rochow said. "We are proud that we could use this opportunity to do even more to help."
Consumers Energy also will join community members from across the state to raise more money for heating assistance in the coming weeks, with employees taking part in more than 30 Walks for Warmth. The walks will generate funds for local Community Action Agencies.
Join us at a Walk for Warmth in your community. Learn more at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/walkforwarmth.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
Energy assistance is available from several sources:
CALL 2-1-1: Call 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 programs from Consumers Energy that help protect people from shut-off: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/assistance. Or call 800-477-5050.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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SOURCE Consumers Energy