The Michigan Public Service Commission launched new efforts focused on educating and engaging utility customers amid sweeping changes in the energy industry and ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the COVID-19 pandemic surging during the holiday season, the State of Michigan reminds residents that there are resources available for households worried about paying their energy bills. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Public Service Commission and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services join together to emphasize the availability of flexible payment plans and financial assistance for households struggling to pay bills for electricity and home heating now and after the holidays.
Moving to prevent a crisis in public safety dispatching, the MPSC issued an emergency order that suspends through January 2021 deadlines for 911 workers to complete training and continuing education required under state rules (Case No. U-20926).
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are urging customers to be proactive in seeking help if they find themselves unable to pay their energy bills and to not wait to receive a shut off notice or until almost running out of propane or fuel oil.
In an order issued today in Case No. U-20757, the Michigan Public Service Commission reiterated the support available to help customers in need with bill payment assistance and flexibility payment terms and directed MPSC Staff to continue to collaborate with energy and telecommunications providers and stakeholders on customer protection and affordability measures going forward as we continue to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Vulnerable Michigan households have benefitted from steps taken by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), working with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, energy providers and other agencies to ease financial burdens from the coronavirus pandemic.
The State of Michigan, in partnership with the Connected Nation Michigan, released a statewide Wi-Fi hotspot map to assist residents who currently lack internet access at home.
Eligible state residents having trouble paying their energy bills during the COVID-19 pandemic are having payments made to their utility accounts by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to keep services connected. The payments, which equal more than $7 million for 17,937 households that have past-due accounts, will help energy customers keep services that may otherwise be disconnected once suspension of shutoffs during the pandemic ends in June.
Michigan’s regulated utilities have agreed to extend through mid-June the shutoff protections, flexible payment plans and other options they’ve offered to help customers struggling to pay utility bills because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order allowing construction projects to resume May 7 after being put on hold as part of her Stay Home, Stay Safe efforts. Construction can resume provided that employers adopt best practices to protect their workers from infection. The Michigan Public Service Commission asks Michiganders — from homeowners doing backyard projects to businesses engaging in major construction — to not wait until the last minute to have underground utilities marked by MISS DIG 811.
The State of Michigan has been awarded more than $35 million in additional federal funding to help vulnerable households struggling to afford utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, as radio broadcasters across the state air public service announcements alerting Michiganders to the assistance available to those in need.
At the May 8, 2020 Commission Meeting, MPSC Staff provided an update on it's response to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. The update included an overview of the Commission's operations, provisions of critical services and customer protections, energy assistance and outreach, payment flexibility, and affordability. You can view the presentation here.
State officials urged Michiganders to be proactive if they’re struggling to pay their utility bills by reaching out to their energy providers and seeking financial assistance if they’ve lost a job or their income has dropped amid the coronavirus pandemic. Utilities across the state have agreed to pause service disconnections for low-income and senior customers through June 1, 2020, while many businesses are closed and residents are under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extended Stay Home, Stay Safe order.
The Michigan Public Service Commission called on energy providers to undertake a number of steps to ensure customers have access to safe, reliable energy at reasonable rates during the coronavirus emergency (Case No. U-20757). The Commission also acknowledged the response by telecommunications providers to improve network access and protect customers during this crisis.
April is national Safe Digging Month, but this year the annual designation takes on added importance as Michigan and the nation deal with the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on daily life and emergency resources.
The State of Michigan is working with utility companies to ensure protections are in place for customers as efforts to help slow the spread of the coronavirus impact families and businesses across the state.
The safety of our employees and the public we serve is of paramount importance to the Michigan Public Service Commission. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we take steps to mitigate issues related to the spread of COVID-19.
We are taking the precautionary measures below until further notice: