Home heating: where you can go for assistance this season

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The warm, summer-like temps are out of here, the chilly Fall breeze has finally arrived and it’s about that time people turn up the heat but for some families, it’s not that easy and utility companies like Consumers Energy want to help in any way they can.

“We do have winter shutoff protection for folks who are 65 and older and then also based on your income level so if someone is of low enough income, they may qualify for shut off protection,” said Consumers Energy spokesperson Brian Wheeler.

Wheeler says in addition to that program, Consumers offers “payment arrangement” options if someone is really in a pinch

“People can spread out their payments or people can defer their payments if they need to,” Wheeler stated.

Consumers aren’t the only option to provide comfort for those in need…home heating specialist Peggy Brown says the Capital City has opportunities too.

“This is the time where most people want to apply for state emergency relief through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Also, there are other organizations available through the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul,” said Brown.

And just recently, the Michigan Energy Assistance Program, also called MEAP, was awarded $45.5 million in grants given to ten statewide organizations to provide a helping hand to low-income families as well.

“They work with the people who apply to help them with budgeting and help them with some energy efficiency items or to try to help them also not just turn around and pay the money, but also kind of give them some good practices to be able to make sure that hopefully in the future they don’t find themselves in a similar situation,” Nick Assendelft stated; Public Information Officer for the Michigan Agency for Energy & Public Service Commission.

So you too, can have a warm home this season.

If you’d like to apply to any of the organizations mentioned above, we’ve posted several links under the “Seen on 6” section of our website and below.

Michigan 211: http://mi211.org/

Michigan Agency for Energy: http://www.michigan.gov/energy/0,4580,7-230-72052_52493—,00.html

Consumers Energy: https://www.consumersenergy.com/

Salvation Army Lansing: http://salansing.org/lansingcapitalarea/utilities

Michigan Dept. of Health & Human Services: http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71547_5531—,00.html

St Vincent de Paul: http://www.svdpusa.org/Assistance-Services

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