November 14, 2016 - 6:00 AM EST
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Help Is Available: Consumers Energy's CARE Program Gives Michigan Residents Tools to Stay Warm This Winter

Aids 16,000 Households, on Top of 30,000 Helped Through Nonprofits

JACKSON, Mich., Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 16,000 Michigan households will receive assistance from Consumers Energy to stay warm this winter through its CARE program, part of the energy provider's commitment to extend help to its customers facing hardship.

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"CARE is one of the most powerful tools that we offer at Consumers Energy to help people manage their energy bills," said Chad Miller, Consumers Energy's manager of low-income programs. "With winter on its way, we urge customers to visit our website for assistance options to help them stay on top of their energy bills. Help is available."

CARE is an affordable payment plan available to Consumers Energy customers based on their income. For qualified households with a past due balance, CARE can provide help for as long as 12 months.

The program is in its fourth year and is funded through a State of Michigan grant from the Michigan Energy Assistance Program.

Among its benefits:

  • Participants receive a 50 percent credit on their monthly energy bill from November through March, and 30 percent in April through October.
  • A past due balance is frozen and will be paid down over the program year as long as participants make regular monthly payments.
  • Participants qualify to receive a free in-home energy efficiency visit and weatherization services through Consumers Energy's Helping Neighbors program, www.ConsumersHelpingNeighbors.com.

 "It's truly unimaginable that this type of compassion and action has been done through yourself and the CARE program!" one former participant wrote. "Thank you, thank you, thank you to you and to your program for this fresh start! I will pay this forward, (without question, I promise) as I catapult back to stability!"

Space in the CARE program is limited, and enrollment ends as soon as seats are filled. Customers statewide can apply through two agencies that process applications for eligibility -- the United Way of Jackson County (844-220-6098) or TrueNorth Community Services  (231-355-5880).

Visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/care to learn more about CARE participation benefits, eligibility, and enrollment process and to download an application packet. Alternatively, pick up an application at the Consumers Energy payment office nearest you.

In addition to the CARE Program, Consumers Energy recently announced a partnership with five nonprofit organizations to provide $12 million in assistance to help with energy bills. That will help as many as an additional 30,000 households stay on track to pay their energy bills.

Assistance to help individuals and families afford and manage their bills is available through a variety of channels.  People are encouraged to visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/assistance or dial 2-1-1 to learn about assistance options in their community.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.

Media toolkit

CARE PROGRAM: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/CARE

OTHER ASSISTANCE: Learn about other assistance programs: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/assistance

HELPING NEIGHBORS: Consumers Energy provides home energy analyses to households based on income: www.ConsumersHelpingNeighbors.com

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media

Facebook: |https://www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/consumersenergy 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/consumersenergy 
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/consumersenergy

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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/help-is-available-consumers-energys-care-program-gives-michigan-residents-tools-to-stay-warm-this-winter-300361790.html

SOURCE Consumers Energy


Source: PR Newswire (November 14, 2016 - 6:00 AM EST)

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