JACKSON, Mich., Feb. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy is reminding Michigan residents that heating bill assistance may be as close as the pen you hold in your hand, and encourages those eligible to complete the Michigan Home Heating Credit and federal Earned Income Tax Credit.
"We want to help Michigan's residents manage their energy bills, and filing for the Home Heating Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit are excellent options for those who qualify. Filing for these credits during tax season is best, since free tax preparation services for income-qualified households are available across the state," said Chad Miller, Consumers Energy's manager of low-income programs.
Miller offered some additional facts about the Home Heating Credit:
- It can be used for all types of primary heating fuels, including natural gas, propane, oil and purchased firewood.
- Renters who pay their own heating bills may also qualify.
- The filing deadline is Sept. 30, 2016.
- Credit amounts are based on household income and size.
The average credit for Consumers Energy customers in 2014 was nearly $150. "Even households that don't earn enough money to file taxes may still be eligible to receive the Home Heating Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, yet a significant share of Home Heating Credit funds goes unclaimed each year. That's why it is important to encourage family, friends and neighbors to apply," Miller added.
Customers can find their 2015 total heat cost on December, January and February Consumers Energy billing statements. This information is required to complete the form. It is also available by calling Consumers Energy toll-free at 800-477-5050.
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is another benefit for working people with low to moderate income. For income guidelines, contact your employers, call the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-3676, or visit www.irs.gov.
The Michigan Department of Treasury can also answer questions about both forms by calling 517-636-4486.
Consumers Energy employees are also doing their part to help keep the heat on for Michigan residents by taking part in more than 30 Walks for Warmth across the state. The walks raise money for energy assistance that is provided through Michigan's Community Action Agencies.
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.
WHERE TO GET A HOME HEATING CREDIT FORM (MI-1040CR-7):
- Online at www.michigan.gov/taxes
- Consumers Energy's Assistance website: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/assistance
- Most public libraries
- Secretary of State branch offices
- Department of Health and Human Services branch offices: http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL:
- Consumers Energy, 800-477-5050
- Michigan Dept. of Treasury, 517-636-4486
- Internal Revenue Service, 800-829-3676
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SOURCE Consumers Energy