Winter heating bills can certainly impact the household budget, and members of the home must remain conscious of their energy usage. On this page you will find suggestions for saving energy, links to informational Consumer Tips, and a wide range of other helpful consumer resources. We all need to "Be WinterWise" of our energy usage.
Use Energy Wisely - The cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.
- Every electric and natural gas Michigan utility offers energy efficiency programs for customers to reduce their energy bills. Visit the Energy Efficiency link at the Michigan Public Service Commission website: http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,4639,7-159-52495---,00.html
- Many utility providers also have programs to help make your home more energy efficient, so your energy bills will be lower. Contact your gas or electric company to ask about these programs.
- From the Department of Energy, view the Energy Savers booklet for tips on saving money and energy at home.
Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan Program makes energy efficiency improvements easy, affordable and smart. More information is available at the energy efficiency link: http://energy.gov/savings/michigan-saves-home-energy-loan-program
- Call 2-1-1 or click on www.mi211.org for local energy efficiency agencies in your area.
Be Helpful - Share this information with family and friends! If you are able, help your neighbors and donate to organizations that provide energy assistance.
MICHIGAN ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Income eligible customers may quality for assistance through the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP). The goal of MEAP is to move customers to self-sufficiency. Therefore, customers no longer need a shut-off notice or DHHS denial to qualify for assistance. Seventy percent of MEAP funds must be expended during the crisis season but additional funding may be available after May 31st. If a customer's income is 150% below the poverty level and they are behind on their energy bill, they should apply for help to pay off the past-due balance beginning Oct.1st. Customers should contact their utility to see what programs are available in their area, and call 2-1-1 or click on www.mi211.org to learn about local agencies that may help with enrollment.
STATE EMERGENCY RELIEF
All energy-related Department of Health and Human Services State Emergency Relief (SER) requests, except in special cases involving health and safety concerns, must fall within the crisis season, which now runs from November 1 through May 31 each year. Find help near you at mibridges.michigan.gov or call 2-1-1.
Shut-Off Protection - Senior citizens, low-income customers, and military personnel may qualify for shut-off protection through various programs. Contact your utility company.
Be Proactive - Contact your utility company as soon as you know you will be unable to pay your bill on time. Do not wait for a shut-off notice.
Plan Ahead - Many utility companies have Budget Billing Plans that can spread out your peak winter heating bills, allowing for a more affordable monthly bill during the heating season. Contact your utility company to find out if they offer Budget Billing.