Winter is here, how will I afford my bills?

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While some of us are celebrating the fresh start of the New Year, others are faced with the fact that bills are still waiting to be paid. Worry sets in about how we’re going to pay our bills – bills for basic needs like energy, food and water. Not to mention, the rigmarole of confusing instructions on statements or even who to reach out to for assistance can be – well, frustrating.

Now that cold weather has set in for the next few months, and it looks like we’re going to have a colder, but typical, Michigan winter, there is the potential for high heating costs. Many residents, approximately 25 percent of Michigan residents, must make tough decisions about whether to put food on the table or heat their homes.

Help is available!  DTE Energy, the state government and private agencies have many programs as well as energy efficiency tips to help with energy-related expenses, and they have been pulled together in DTE’s 2017-2018 Payment Assistance Programs brochure to help residents in need find the resources they are seeking.

DTE works with a number of outreach agencies across the state to offer programs like DTE’s Low Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP) where low-income customers may qualify for a fixed payment plan based on income and energy usage, and the government’s Home Heating Credit (HHC) where low-income customers, may be eligible for a home heating credit for the 2017 tax year to help pay winter heating bills. Let’s not forget about DTE’s Home Energy Consultation, where a DTE Energy specialist will visit your home and conduct a FREE consultation to find out where your home uses the most energy and identify things that you can do in every room to save energy and money.

DTE also partners with local agencies and organizations to host Customer Assistance Day (CAD) events throughout Southeast and Western Michigan where customers in need can make a reservation to meet with our CAD volunteers who provide case management solutions, affordable payment plans and energy efficiency education to customers throughout the year.  Visit dteenergy.com/CAD for more information and a list of upcoming CAD events.

The bottom line – if you or someone you know are having difficulty paying an energy bill – don’t wait, ask for help!  DTE Energy, along with the state government and private agencies can provide assistance.