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Consumers Energy donates $300,000 to help Michigan veterans pay heating bills

A $300,000 donation from Consumers Energy to the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (MVTF) will help potentially hundreds of military veterans pay their heating bills in Michigan this winter.

The gift is the largest single donation in the 76-year history of the trust fund, which operates within the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). Over the past three years, Consumers has gifted $550,000 to the MVTF.

This year’s donation will help veterans who are Consumers customers pay utility bills and make emergency home repairs that fall under energy efficiency, such as furnace and roof repairs. Veterans can call 1-800-MICH-VET to inquire about eligibility or visit the MVTF webpage and fill out the emergency assistance form.

“Utility assistance continues to be one of our biggest needs, especially during these cold winter months,” said MVTF Director Lindell Holm. “We are incredibly thankful to have the support of Consumers Energy as we work to assist veterans and their families during this time. This donation allows the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund to expand our reach to more veterans facing critical needs besides utilities like emergency rent assistance and home payments.”

The assistance can be particularly helpful to those on a fixed income. More than 51% of Michigan’s nearly 550,000 veterans are age 65 or older and about 21% percent receive disability compensation, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Since late 2020, more than $169,000 in donations from Consumers and the MTVF have helped 457 Michigan veterans and their dependents pay utility bills. Another $190,000 in donations from Consumers and the MVTF have helped veterans make energy-efficient home repairs in the form of furnaces and roofs.

Consumers has provided $7.25 million this winter to help Michigan residents with energy bills, which includes the assistance for military veterans.

“Consumers Energy understands many Michiganders are facing challenging times and no one wants to see rising energy bills ― especially our most vulnerable customers. We recognize our responsibility to help our customers who count on us every day,” said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy’s president and CEO. “Natural gas prices have climbed across the Midwest and nation, and we are committed to helping customers manage their bills and help those in need immediately.”