Michigan has several programs that provide help paying utility bills as well as provide help with heating and other energy bills. Help is offered in all parts of the state, including Detroit and Grand Rapids. In addition to assistance with paying your utility bills, the state of Michigan offers a program that will help you with refinancing your mortgage loan, and it will also help with preventing mortgage foreclosures. You can follow the Help With Mortgage link on the left side margin and then proceed to Help with Mortgage.
One program is the Home Heating Credit.
It is a state tax credit that can help offset the costs of electricity, natural gas, or oil that is used to heat a home. During the long cold winters in Michigan many residents do need help with heating bills. The credit is determined and based on total household income, the houses heating costs, and the number of exemptions claimed by the requester. There are special exemptions for all customer over 65. Customer with disabilities will also have special exceptions in receiving assistance to help in paying utility bills.
Also, there are arrearage deposit and forgiveness, as well as fee waivers that are provided by utilities that participate in the state's electric bill payment plans and billing system. More.
Other Low-income Rate Assistance
Arrearage forgiveness and fee waivers for deposits are provided by most utilities in Michigan that participate in the state of Michigan’s positive billing system or other payment plans. Under the positive billing program, an eligible participating household must pay a percentage of its monthly assistance grant towards its utility bill.
State Emergency Relief (SER)
SER aid will provide help with paying heating, utility, and electric bills to households with low income who have a emergency situation that threatens either their health or safety.
The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW)
This is an independent non-profit organization. THAW will distributes funds for utility and heating bill-payment assistance across the state of Michigan. The group also promotes energy conservation, energy efficiency education, and weatherization. THAW works with several utility companies, who provide funding to manage and operate the utility bill help program. Read more.
Tri County Electric
People Fund and Operation Round Up
Customer donations provide grant funds for both community organizations and individuals. Grant Guidelines include: $2,500 maximum in grants to any one individual or family per year. In addition, an applicant may not reapply within 6 months from their first or previous application. Lastly, applicants must submit copies of previous federal income tax forms in order to be eligible for a grant. More details.
PeopleCare is a partnership formed between The Salvation Army and Consumers Energy to help those Michigan households who may not qualify for other assistance with bills, yet are still struggling to make ends meet. The program extends material assistance to families, ranging from food to transportation to medical needs. They will also help with paying heating and utility bills.
Find information on additional Consumer Energy programs. Click here.
Several different assistance programs and plans are offered to those customers who are under economic stress. Learn more.
Lansing Board of Water & Light
Pennies for Power Program
This program is a funded by customer donations and it provides utility service shutoff protection for low-income families in the Lansing, Michigan area.
Winter Protection Plan
This Michigan plan tries to protect lower income residents, seniors, and the disabled from natural gas or electric service shutoff. It will also aid them with any high utility and heating bill payments between December 1 and March 31.
The Winter Protection Assistance plan will allow qualified customers to make regular monthly payments of at least 7 percent of their estimated annual electric or heating bill. Participants must also agree to pay a portion of any past-due amount from bills, December through March, and they will then avoid shutoff during that timeframe even if their bills are higher then expected.
Michigan has received hundreds of millions of dollars in funds to increase its weatherization programs. These programs will help families reduce their utility bills, conserve energy, and also create additional jobs in the state. More on Michigan weatherization.