MPSC offers tips on winter heating bill help, energy saving practices
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 28, 2019
LANSING, Mich. – With extremely cold weather gripping the state, the Michigan Public Service Commission today reminds Michiganders of resources for help paying utility bills, and easy, low- or no-cost ways to keep costs in check.
“As frigid cold weather has settled into Michigan, it takes more energy for families to keep their homes safe and warm,” said Sally Talberg, chairman of the MPSC. “That can put a strain on finances, especially for low-income families, who spend a large proportion of their home budgets on utility bills.”
The MPSC provides $50 million for heating help through the Michigan Energy Assistance Program, which funds utility bill payments and efforts to help customers be self-sufficient in paying utility bills. Nine community agencies help with the MEAP application process: Salvation Army, TrueNorth Community Services, The Heat and Warmth Fund, United Way of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan Community Action, Okemos, United Way of Jackson County, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Superior Watershed Partnership, and Barry County United Way. Individuals can call 211 to be connected with an assistance provider.
Anyone having difficulties paying utility bills should call their local electric or natural gas provider and enroll in help programs. For Consumers Energy Co., dial (800) 477-5050; for DTE Energy Co., (800) 477-4747; for Upper Peninsula Power Co., (800) 562-7680; and for Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp., (800) 242-9137. Check utility websites for more information.
For issues with utilities, call the MPSC Customer Assistance line at (800) 292-9555, or dial 211.
Here are five ways to manage utility bills:
- Check furnace filters. Clean filters allow furnaces to run more efficiently.
- Install a programmable thermostat and save about 10 percent on heating costs.
- Seal air leaks around windows, doors, or utility access points.
- Add tempered glass doors to fireplaces to avoid losing indoor heat through the chimney.
- Schedule a home energy assessment to identify ways to cut energy waste. Rebates on heating, ventilation and air conditioning; appliances; lighting; insulation; and other improvements are available through utilities. Michigan Saves offers low-cost financing.
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