Board of Water and Light
Customer Service Dept: (517) 702-6006
Board of Water and Light will try to work with customers to develop a payment plan to prevent shut-offs, especially during the winter heating season. They will not shut off electricity for individuals 65 years of age or older during the heating season (November 1st to March 31st). If you are 65 and older it is important to contact BWL and make sure they have your age noted on your account.
It is important to remember that even though BWL will not shut off your electricity during the heating season that the bill will still be accruing and it’s a best practice to continue to make payments. If you continue to make payments, you may avoid a shut off notice come April 1st.
Board of Water and Light also has a Medical Alert Form for Non-Interruption of Electric Service that verifies that a medical emergency does exist in your home, that there is medical equipment dependent on electric, and continuation of your electric service is vital to your health. It needs to be completed by a physician or public health official and submitted to BWL. BWL will suspend shutoff action for at least 21 days, and services will be restored. It is important to keep in mind that additional forms are needed to extend postponement of shutoff and the postponement will not exceed 63 days.
Customer Service Dept: 844-309-5513
Consumers Energy will try to work with customers to develop a payment plan to prevent shut-offs, especially during the winter heating season. Their Winter Protection Plan is available to seniors (65 or older) and qualifying customers guarding against a shut-off and high payments during the winter months. Enrollment starts November 1st and runs through March 31st. An initial down payment is required. It is important that if you are 65 years of age or older that you contact Consumers Energy to make sure that it is noted on your account.
It is important to remember that even though Consumers will not shut off your electricity during the heating season that the bill will still be accruing and it’s a best practice to continue to make payments. If you continue to make payments, you may avoid a shut off notice come April 1st.
Consumers Energy also has a Shut-Off Protection Plan that provides year-round protection from shut-off for all seniors and qualifying customers. An initial down payment is required. This program spreads out your annual energy costs into equal payments.
Medical Emergency Protection is available through Consumers Energy if written proof from a doctor or public health official that states that service-shut off will aggravate an existing condition is provided. Keep in mind this only provides protection for up to 21 days with the possibility for an extension under qualifying circumstances.
The Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy program allows income-qualified customers at or below 150% federal poverty guidelines to stay current on energy bills. CARE provides a monthly bill credit on energy costs and staggered forgiveness of a past due balance.
Financial Energy Assistance
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Ingham County: (517) 887-9400
Eaton County: (517) 543-0860
Clinton County: (989) 224-5500
MDHHS may provide energy assistance through the State Emergency Relief program (SER). SER is a crisis intervention program that provides assistance for energy related expenses such as heating fuel, electricity and home repairs. Funds are available Nov. 1st to May 31st. Eligibility is based on income, assets and demonstration of immediate need such as a past due or shut off notice. You can apply at your local DHHS office or on line at www.michigan.gov/mibridges.
emPower at TrueNorth Community Services
Contact number: (231)355-5880
TrueNorth Community services assist individuals with electric, natural gas, propane, wood, pellets, fuel, coal and other fuels through emPower. To receive assistance with heat and energy bills you must have a past due or shut-off notice, propane or fuel oil level less than 25% or less than 14 days of wood/pellets. There are income guidelines based on income and size of household. You can apply online at ww.tnepower.org/apply/ or call in to have a paper application mailed to you.
Tri-County Office on Aging Crisis Services for the Elderly
Contact Number: (517) 887-1440
TCOA provides limited assistance for non-medical emergencies, such as utility shut-off notices and prescription drug issues, for adults 60 and older.
The following agencies in the Tri-County area may also be available to provide financial assistance toward energy bills depending on availability of funds and qualifications. Contact them for more information. Please keep in mind funding availability varies from year to year and should not be a part of your regular budget.
Capital Area Community Services
1301 Rensen St.
Lansing, MI 48910
1001 S. Oakland St.
St. Johns, MI 48879
1370 N. Clinton Trail
Charlotte, MI 48813
218 E. Maple St.
Mason, MI 48854
525 N. Pennsylvania Ave
Lansing, MI 48912
St. Vincent DePaul
1020 S. Washington Ave
Lansing, MI 48910
Other Energy Related Resources
Michigan Dept. of Treasury-Home Heating Credit
Contact Number: (517)636-4486
Depending on your household size and income you may qualify for a home heating credit for the previous tax year to help pay for winter heating bills (includes rented apartments and mobile homes). The deadline to file is Sept 30th each year. Look for the Home Heating Credit Claim form wherever other tax forms are provided such as the MI Dept. of Treasury or at Consumers Energy bill payment offices. You can also find them online at www.michigan.gov/treasury. Assistance completing this form may also be obtained by calling 2-1-1.
Consumers Energy Helping Neighbors Energy Efficiency Assistance
Contact Number: (877) 448-9433
At no cost, income-qualified households can receive an on-site assessment, educational materials and energy saving products or services such as a furnace tune-up. Call consumers or visit ConsumersHelpingNeighbors.com to schedule your appointment.
Board of Water and Light Hometown Help
Contact Number: (800) 573-3503
The Hometown Energy Savers program provides ways to make energy efficient choices more affordable for homeowners and renters. Income-qualified residential electric customers can receive free services such as a home energy assessment, LED light bulbs, education and additional measures with homes that an electric water heater. Contact BWL or visit www.hometownenergysavers.com/hometown-help to complete the assessment request to see if you qualify.
City of Lansing Homeowner Rehabilitation Program
Contact Number: (517)483-4040
The City of Lansing’s Development Office uses funding made available by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to provide a combination of grants and 0% interest loans for City residents. Funds must be used to correct code related structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, safety violations as a priority. Funds can also be used for weatherization and energy efficiency. For more information and to see if you qualify call the City of Lansing Development Office.
Financial Empowerment Center
Contact Number: (517) 483-4550
The Financial Empowerment Center does not provide energy assistance, but they do provide free one-on-one financial counseling. They can work with you to come up with a plan to decrease debt, improve your credit and get your bills on track. Call to schedule your free appointment.