COVID-19 and your utility bills, telecommunications service, and broadband

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Worried about your energy bill?

Residential customers who need assistance with their electricity or heating bills because of impacts of the coronavirus should take the following steps:

Step 1: Be proactive - Contact your utility or propane supplier to ask what kind of protections, funding, flexible payment options, or energy saving tools and resources are available.

Step 2: Get help by calling 211 - Call 2-1-1 and ask how you can get help paying your utility bill or go to www.mi211.org to learn about agencies that may assist you with your energy bill. 

Step 3: State Emergency Relief (SER) Program - Apply directly through MI Bridges for bill payment assistance or call 855-275-6424. Information is required to verify your income so you may want to work with your utility or 2-1-1 first on tips to navigate this process.

Step 4: Apply for a Home Heating Credit Starting January 1st - Visit the Michigan Department of Treasury's website to see if you qualify. Applications are accepted January 1 - September 30 each year. Even though this funding is distributed by the MI Dept. of Treasury, you do not need to pay taxes or wait for a tax return to receive this credit. You can apply any time after January 1. For more information about the Home Heating Credit, see our consumer tip

Even if your income has recently changed due to COVID-19, help is available. Click here for more information about energy assistance.

COVID Emergency Rental Assistance

If you are a renter and could use help with your rent and/or utilities, please visit www.michigan.gov/cera to learn more about the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program run through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. This website will give you information on who is eligible, how to apply, and all the program details. Don't miss out on this valuable resource to help with your housing costs.

Business customers who need assistance with their utility bills because of impacts of the coronavirus should take the following steps:

Step 1: Be proactive - Contact your utility or propane supplier to ask what kind of protections, funding, flexible payment options, or energy saving tools and resources are available..

Step 2: Explore available assistance options -  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) provides a collection of resources to help Michigan businesses navigating the pandemic. General resources and consumer tips are also available on the MPSC's business consumer page.

For DTE business customers:

DTE COVID-19 Support Link
DTE has temporarily revised its payment plan policies to protect those who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Payment option information and resources are available at the above link.

For Consumers Energy business customers:

Consumers Energy Small Business COVID Response
Use this link for a phone number for businesses to use when struggling with bills, links to sources of assistance for businesses, and Virtual Energy Coaching.

Additional small business information related to COVID-19:

  • Small Business Centers - Michigan
    Michigan's Small Business Development Center provides a summary of support programs and information to help Michigan businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Restaurant Relief Fund
    The Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • Michigan Safe Start Plan
    The MI Safe Start Plan outlines how the state will begin to safely reengage. Information is available for employers, employees, and the public.

Step 3: Review your current rate structure - Make sure your rate is the best available to suit the needs of your business. Contact your utility company directly to review all available rates or review them yourself.
Electric Rate information | Natural Gas Rate information

As a utility customer, you are responsible for paying for the energy you use, and it is important to make every effort to pay your utility bill on time. If you are unable able to pay the bill in full, making a partial payment is better than not paying anything at all.

Contact information for regulated utilities:

Alpena Power Co.

989-358-4900, www.alpenapower.com

Aurora Gas Co.

989-733-6625, www.pieg.com

Citizens Gas Fuel Co.

800-982-2831, www.citizensgasfuel.com

Consumers Energy Co.

800-477-5050, www.consumersenergy.com

DTE Energy Co.

800-477-4747, www.dteenergy.com

Indiana Michigan Power Co.

800-672-2231, www.indianamichiganpower.com

Michigan Gas Utilities

800-401-6402, accel.michigangasutilities.com

Northern States Power Co. (Xcel)

800-895-4999, www.xcelenergy.com

Semco Energy Gas Co.

800-624-2019, www.semcoenergygas.com

Superior Energy Co.

888-468-2828, www.secnaturalgas.com

Upper Michigan Energy Resources

800-242-9137, www.uppermichiganenergy.com
for former WEPCO customers

800-450-7260
for former WPSC customers

Upper Peninsula Power Co.

800-562-7680, www.uppco.com

Wisconsin Electric Power Co.

800-242-9137, www.we-energies.com

For additional issues related to utility service, contact the Michigan Public Service Commission's Customer Assistance Division at 800-292-9555 or www.michigan.gov/mpsc.

Concerned about your telecommunications or broadband service because of COVID-19?

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Congress appropriated $3.2 billion in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help low-income households pay for broadband service and connected internet devices. On February 25, 2021, the FCC adopted Report and Order 21-29, officially establishing the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program).

The EBB Program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month for broadband services for eligible consumers. Consumers who live on qualifying Tribal lands can receive enhanced support of up to $75 per month toward broadband services.

Additionally, the program provides a one-time device discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider. The one-time discount requires a consumer co-payment of more than $10 and less than $50.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is temporary. It will expire when funds are exhausted or six months after the Federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declares the end of the COVID-19 health emergency.

For more information regarding the EBB Program and Eligibility, go to the following links:

Wi-Fi Hotspot Map

The MPSC, in partnership with other State of Michigan agencies and Connected Nation Michigan, released a publicly available statewide Wi-Fi hotspot map to assist residents who currently lack internet access at home. Find a hotspot site near you.

Lifeline

If you are having financial difficulty obtaining telephone or broadband service, you may possibly qualify for the Lifeline program.  If you are participating in the Lifeline programs, you may also participate in the EBB program as well.

Telephone or Cable/IPTV Television Complaint Assistance

For complaint assistance regarding your landline telephone service and/or your cable/IPTV television, contact the MPSC at 800-292-9555 or www.michigan.gov/mpsc.

COVID-19 Information

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at www.Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and www.CDC.gov/Coronavirus.