JACKSON—Officials at the Jackson-based utility Consumers Energy announced the company would provide $12 million to help Michigan residents and small businesses with energy bills affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We stand with Michigan and are working around the clock to help our friends and neighbors through a time like no other,” said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy president and CEO. “Our company’s $12 million contribution will provide a lifeline to many families and businesses, helping them stay on their feet until we can defeat the pandemic and Michigan can fully reopen.”
Consumers Energy has set a goal to help about 25,000 households and 1,000 small businesses with this new assistance. The funding will go directly to customers in need and to Michigan nonprofit organizations.
The best way for people to get help is to call 2-1-1, a free service that connects people with nonprofit agencies in their communities, including the new financial help that Consumers Energy is announcing. If a Consumers Energy customer is struggling to pay a bill, they also can call 800-477-5050.
Since March, Consumers Energy and its charitable foundation have now provided over $16 million to help Michigan residents. Consumers Energy has mobilized to respond to customers’ needs:
- Suspending energy shut-offs for nonpayment for residential and most business customers.
- Making payment arrangements for customers in need.
- Providing access to federal, state and local resources that can help small businesses.
“We knew from the start this pandemic would create unimaginable challenges for many people and businesses,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s chief customer officer. “We’re talking about our neighbors, our friends and even our co-workers. We know we have an obligation to help our communities stay resilient through this time.”
Heading into winter, Consumers Energy also is working to keep energy costs low for customers. Customers should pay 20 percent less next year compared to a decade ago, or less than $2.30 a day, for natural gas.
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
More at ConsumersEnergy.com.