Consumers Energy Program Helps Low Income Customers Save Money - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Consumers Energy Program Helps Low Income Customers Save Money

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A local utility company is giving customers a chance to save a lot of money on their energy bills.

People gathered at the Consumers Energy headquarters in Jackson to meet with officials about their energy saving options.

And many people like Dwayne Buchholz were thankful to have a chance to lower their bills. Buchholz has 7 kids and another on the way and is looking to save money wherever he can.

"I've been off work since march of last year and I've been a stay at home dad," said Buchholz. "So my wife is the main bread winner and she just got laid off going into maternity leave."

He wasn't sure what to expect at the event at first and was a little hesitant about coming in.

"First time in my life I've ever had to come to ask for any kind of help," said Buchholz. "I've always been able to cover my own...cover myself."

He is just one of hundreds of low income customers that are looking for help on their bills this winter.

"We've had customers who come in and they may have several hundred or couple thousand dollars on their bill that they owe and they have no idea how they are going to pay for it," Joe Eckert Director of Revenue Operations, Consumers Energy.

The program is called CARE, which stands for Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy.

Consumers works with partner agencies including THAW (The Heat & Warmth Fund), The Salvation Army and TrueNorth Community Services to help income qualified residents manage and pay their bills.

"The program will pay off any reearage that the customers has at the time through August and we'll give them a 40 percent credit on their bill," said Eckert.

Many customers say that this past winter has been one of the hardest yet, and programs like CARE allow them to save money and better manage their bills.

"They ended up saving me like 1700 hundred dollars and as well as giving me a 40% discount on my bill for the next 6 months," said Buchholz.

And because of that, Buchholz says he is grateful to be able to lower his bills.

"Its a great stress relief of mine and my wife's shoulders," said Buchholz.

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