Keeping the heat on, even if you’re behind on the bills

LANSING, MI (WLNS) — The saying goes “April showers bring May flowers” but does that count if it’s snowing?

6 News meteorologist Joe Gollotto averaged NOAA data for Lansing from last April and compared it to this past week.

In 2015, the first week of April averaged between 58 for a high and 30 degrees for the low.

This year, a huge drop off. We didn’t even hit an average of 43 degrees in April’s first week.

“People probably are coming out much better this winter on their bills than last year.” Consumer’s Energy spokesman, Brian Wheeler, says that’s because this winter was moderate—and that means savings overall. “The average household that we serve has paid about $250 less for natural gas this winter compared to last year.”

Still, some people struggle to pay their bills, and that’s where winter shut-off protection can help.

“People who are seniors or based on their income they can qualify for protection from having their heat or electricity shut off,” says Wheeler.

But this service ended on April first. For all BWL heating customers that break ends on April 15th.

Both companies stress that even after the winter months help is available for people behind on payments.

For Wheeler, it’s important to be proactive and not wait for problems to get worse. “The bigger problem is if people wait and they get to a situation where they’re facing the threat of shut-off. It might be harder to make things work out better.”

We can expect a return to normal temperatures in the 50s and 60s by late next week. So hopefully no one’s checkbook will be hurting too much.

 

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