Consumers Energy commits $4.5M to keep the heat on

JACKSON—Officials at Consumers Energy say the electric and gas utility is committing $4.5 million in new assistance to help Michiganders stay safe and warm in their homes, including $1 million for this winter and $3.5 million for a pilot program for vulnerable households later this year.

“Consumers Energy is committed to helping our friends and neighbors through this Michigan winter and all seasons,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president and chief customer officer. “These new dollars will enroll customers in programs that help them build brighter futures and stay safe and warm in their homes.”

The $1 million will be distributed equally by the United Way of Jackson County and TrueNorth Community Services, two Michigan nonprofits with long histories of helping Consumers Energy customers.

The $3.5 million contribution will establish a new pilot program for low-income households scheduled to start later this year. The program will need approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Consumers Energy has worked to help customers and communities in several ways, committing nearly $20 million in the last two years in assistance for households and small businesses.

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. Other sources of assistance include:

Consumers Energy’s contributions add to tens of millions of dollars that have come into Michigan since last year through pandemic relief and federal and state stimulus programs. Rich encouraged people to reach out to 2-1-1 if they face any challenges, from energy bills to other household needs.

“We know it can be intimidating to ask for assistance, particularly for families that haven’t faced financial hardship before. But people should remember that getting that important help can start with a single phone call,” Rich said.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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