Service Agencies Help Michiganders with Energy Bills

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — As it gets colder and people continue to struggle financially during the pandemic, service agencies around the state are helping Michiganders with their energy bills. Nine agencies were given a total of $54.5 million in Michigan Energy Assistance Program grants.

One of those agencies was the United Way of Jackson County. Bethany Stutzman is their Director of Community Solutions. She said they should be able to help over five thousand households with utility assistance. Households that may need it now more than ever with layoffs from the pandemic. 

“Having this money available for utility assistance to Michigan’s most vulnerable people is just really critical. Especially going into the winter season because people need to keep their heat on to keep their house warm and their kids warm,” Stutzman said.

The Michigan Pubic Service Commission is encouraging people to get help as soon as possible. Anne Armstrong is the Customer Assistance Director with the commission. She said there are more ways than one for you to get assistance.

“You can go straight to the agency. You can go to mibridges. You can go to 211,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said you first have to apply for the State Emergency Relief Program. After that, you’ll be directed to the Michigan Energy Assistance Program. Once your application is accepted, a hold is put on your account and your energy won’t be disconnected.

“Then there’s a turn around time of a maximum of ten days before they get their assistance. But it usually doesn’t take that long,” Armstrong said.

Today, you can save energy by checking your furnace filters and sealing air leaks around windows and doors.

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