Thousands At Risk Of Utility Shutoffs - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Thousands At Risk Of Utility Shutoffs

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Thousands of people in Mid-Michigan struggling to pay their bills could be at risk of having their utilities shut off in mid-April. According to state law, most utility companies cannot disconnect service between November and April 15, but after that, those companies can begin to take action against delinquent clients.

Amy Akers, spokeswoman for the Lansing Board of Water and Light said on Friday the company anticipated a large number of shutoffs on the April 15, so it has extended its grace period to April 21. Akers said BWL encourages customers who have outstanding balances to
contact customer service to make payment arrangements to prevent shutoffs, and while payments are usually split into thirds, she said BWL is willing to work with its customers.

Officials with Consumers Energy also encouraged customers with overdue bills to work out payment plans, although the April 15 shutoff date does not apply to the company because it collects a charge of $.99 per meter, per month, which contributes to the
Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF).

Joan Jackson Johnson, director of community services and human relations for the City of Lansing said BWL customers in danger of shutoff should contact the Department of Human Services for
State Emergency Relief as soon as possible. She also said customers should reach out to local community groups such as the Salvation Army and Capital Area Community Services, which might have funds available to help residents keep their lights on.

Emerald Morrow is a reporter with WLNS-TV. Like her on Facebook, Follow her on Twitter or email her at emorrow@wlns.com.

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