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Payment Plans and Assistance

We're Here to Help

If you need help paying your energy bill, emergency and ongoing aid may be available.

We’ve provided many helpful options below and in our Assistance Resource Guide.

assistance resource guide

Assistance We Offer

We have a variety of ways to help you.
 

SEE THE LIST

Nonprofit Agency Assistance

Assistance offered by other agencies and organizations.

SEE THE LIST

Choose Which Best Describes You

I Need More Time To Pay My Bill

Explore below to identify and apply for the program(s) that best meets your needs:

We Recommend:



Additional Helpful Resources:


  • 2-1-1 by United Way: If you need help paying your bill, we recommend you call 2-1-1 in your community first. See the 2-1-1 Coverage Map.
  • Budget Plan: While you can’t predict Michigan's weather, you can count on the Budget Plan to help keep your energy costs steady year round.
I Need Financial Help Paying My Bill

If you are unable to pay your current bill, please explore the program links below:

We Recommend:

Nonprofit Agency Assistance:


These nonprofit organizations also provide energy assistance to qualified households, along with other self-sufficiency services.

Additional Helpful Resources:

  • Michigan 2-1-1: Offers free, confidential service that connects you with local community-based organizations across the state offering thousands of different programs and services. Simply dial 2-1-1.

    See the 2-1-1 Coverage Map.

  • Consumers Affordable Resources for Energy (CARE): Qualifying households with a past-due balance may apply for this payment plan, which includes monthly credits and forgiveness of a past-due amount. This program requires application each year during the open enrollment period.

I Need A Consistent Payment

Planning for energy use made easy:

We Recommend:

  • Budget Plan: While you can’t predict Michigan's weather, you can count on the Budget Plan to help keep your energy costs steady year round.

The following programs will assist in lowering your energy use:

We Recommend:

Nonprofit Agency Assistance:

Additional Helpful Resources:

I'm A Senior Citizen

As a senior citizen, you qualify for the following assistance:

We Recommend:

  • Budget Plan: While you can’t predict Michigan's weather, you can count on the Budget Plan to help keep your energy costs steady year round.
  • Home Heating Credit: If you meet the income guidelines, you may apply for a Home Heating Credit for your primary heat source.
  • Payment Arrangements: Adjust your due date, make a partial payment or set up a payment arrangement.
  • Shut-off Protection Plan: This payment plan allows you to pay your remaining balance to avoid immediate disconnection. 
  • Winter Protection Plan: Pay partial charges through winter months while receiving seasonal protection from disconnection.

Nonprofit Agency Assistance:

Special Bill Credits:

  • Electric Senior Citizen: This income assistance credit is designed to help seniors on fixed incomes. (If you sign up for the income assistance provision, you will be removed from the senior citizen provision).
  • Electric/Natural Gas Income Assistance: To qualify, you must have received a Michigan Home Heating Credit (HHC) or meet the income requirement.

Additional Helpful Resources:

  • Michigan 2-1-1: Offers free, confidential service that connects you with local community-based organizations across the state offering thousands of different programs and services. See the 2-1-1 Coverage Map or call 2-1-1.
  • Consumers Affordable Resources for Energy (CARE): Qualifying households with a past due balance may apply for this payment plan, which includes monthly credits and forgiveness of a past-due amount. This program requires application each year during the open enrollment period.

Be sure to check for other additional assistance resources in the other selections.

I'm A Veteran/I'm Actively Serving In The Military

Thank You for Your Service.

We Recommend:

  • Shut-off Protection – Active Duty in the Military: If you (or your spouse) are the customer of record and are called to full-time active military service, you may request protection from disconnection for up to 90 days. You may request an extension by reapplying.

Also Consider:

Be sure to check for additional resources on this page.

Assistance We Offer

Budget Plan

This plan offers convenience, peace of mind and security. While you can’t predict Michigan's weather, you can count on the Budget Plan to help keep your energy costs steady year round.

How Budget Plan Works:

  • You can join anytime. However, we recommend joining at the beginning of the plan period (Natural Gas/Combination: June 1 - September 30; Electric: October 1 - May 31).
  • Your monthly payment will be calculated based on your expected energy use for the rest of the Budget Plan year based on your service type (electric or natural gas/combination).
  • At the end of the plan, if you used more energy than you paid for, your Budget Plan year-end bill will include the difference. If you used less, you’ll pay less.
  • On occasion, we may adjust your Budget Plan payments to help avoid big differences in your final month.

The Budget Plan for an average residential customer is:

  • About $100 per month for electric service.
  • About $57 per month for natural gas service.
  • Customers must have their bill payments up to date to enroll.

Join Today:

  1. Sign in to your online account.
  2. Select "Billing Options."
  3. Under "Other Options for You" find "Budget Plan" and select "Get Started."

Or call us at 800-477-5050

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Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy (CARE)

Qualifying households with a past due balance may apply for this payment plan which includes monthly credits of 50% off monthly energy charges November 1 — March 31 and 30% off April 1 — September 20. They will also receive access to energy-saving tools, including in-home energy efficiency upgrades. Yearly application required during the open enrollment period.

Learn More About the CARE Program

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Helping Neighbors Energy Efficiency Assistance

Helps you save money through energy efficiency improvements. At no cost, qualified households can receive an onsite assessment, educational materials and energy saving products or services such as a furnace operations and maintenance tune-up.

Consumers Energy’s Helping Neighbors

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Medical Emergency Protection

If you have a qualifying, documented medical emergency, you can be protected from an energy service shut-off for up to 21 days.

Provide us with written proof from a doctor or a notice from a public health official that service shut-off will aggravate an existing medical condition with this form. Once you've filled out the form, call us at 800-477-5050.

For the complete details, see Consumer Standards and Billing Practices For Electric and Gas Residential Service.

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Payment Arrangements

Need more time? Good news. We can help you adjust your due date, make a partial payment or set up a payment arrangement.

To create a payment arrangement:

  1. Sign in to your online account.
  2. Select "Billing Options."
  3. Under "Other Options for You" find Payment Arrangement" and select "Get Started."

Or, call us at 800-477-5050.

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Shut-off Protection Plan (SPP)

This plan provides year-round protection from shut-off for all seniors and qualifying customers:

  • An initial down payment is required.
  • Participating in a plan spreads out your annual energy costs into equal monthly payments that include your expected monthly energy use and monthly portions of your past-due balance.

To join, call us at 800-477-5050.

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Shut-off Protection: Active Duty in the Military

If you (or your spouse) are the customer of record and you’re called to full time active military service, you may apply for shut-off protection for up to 90 days. You may request an extension by reapplying.

  • You must provide verification of active duty status.
  • At the end of active duty, you must notify us of your change in status.
  • You still will be required to pay for the energy you used during your participation in this program.
  • We will set up a payment plan for all past due amounts to be paid within one year.

To join, call us at 800-477-5050.

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Third Party Notification

We'll send a copy of any shut-off notice you receive to a third party, with your written authorization. This may include a consenting friend, relative or agency.

Your third-party contact is not responsible for paying your bill, but may act as a liaison between you and Consumers Energy.

To set up Third Party Notifications, call us at 800-477-5050.

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Winter Protection Plan (WPP)

This plan is available to seniors (65 or older) and qualifying customers guarding against a shut-off and high payments during the winter. Enrollment starts November 1 and runs through March 31.

How it works:

  • An initial down payment is required.
  • From November through March, you pay 7% of your estimated annual bill along with a portion of any past due amount.
  • In April, we will finalize your bill for the previous months. The amount due is equal to 9% of your estimated annual energy use, plus 1/6 of the account balance (Appliance Service Plan charges and reconnect fees are not included).
  • At the end of the protection period, you must make payment arrangements with your energy provider to pay any money owed before the start of the next protection period.

Call us at 800-477-5050.

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Additional Bill Credit Options

Residential Electric Credit: Qualifying electric customers may choose only one credit plan and may save up to $84 on their annual electric bill. Call 800-477-5050 to apply.
  • Electric Income Assistance ($7 monthly credit): To qualify for this provision, you must have received a Michigan Home Heating Credit (HHC) or meet the income requirement. Consumers Energy automatically will qualify electric customers for the income assistance provision upon notification of a customer's eligibility from a qualifying agency. The customer will be responsible for providing documentation every year to maintain enrollment in the income assistance provision.
  • Electric Senior Citizen ($3.50 monthly credit): A residential customer 65 years or older and head of the household qualifies for this credit. The income assistance credit is designed to help seniors on fixed incomes. If you sign up for the income assistance provision, you will be removed from the senior citizen provision.
Residential Gas Credit:

Qualifying natural gas customers may save up to $141.00 on their annual gas bill with Income Assistance Provisions.

  • Natural Gas Income Assistance ($11.75 monthly credit): Qualifying customers may save up to $141 on their annual gas bill with the Income Assistance Provision. To qualify for this provision, you must have received a Michigan Home Heating Credit (HHC) or be qualified based on income. Consumers Energy automatically will qualify gas customers for the income assistance provision upon notification of a customer’s eligibility from a qualifying agency. The customer will be responsible for providing documentation every year to maintain enrollment in the income assistance provision.
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Nonprofit Agency Assistance

Additional Options to Choose From

In addition to the options we offer there are many additional items for which you may qualify:
  • 2-1-1 by United Way: If you need help paying your bill, we recommend you call 2-1-1 in your community first. See the 2-1-1 Coverage Map.
  • Affordable Rental Housing: People looking for affordable rental housing may use the free Michigan Housing Locator.
  • The Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm: From the Coalition's website, you will find a direct link to Michigan's Energy Assistance Directory.
  • Consolidated Vendoring Warrant Program: Enables the Michigan Department of Human Services to send us a predetermined amount withheld from your Family Investment Program or State Disability Assistance grant.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit: A refundable federal income tax credit resulting in lower annual taxes (increasing your chances for a tax refund), for those who qualify.
  • Elder Law of Michigan: Older adults and people with disabilities can get help paying for the cost of basic needs like food, medicine, health care, utilities, housing and taxes.
  • The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW): Provides emergency help to qualified families and individuals in Michigan who are in danger of losing heat or electricity during the winter months.
  • Michigan Home Heating Credit: If you meet the income guidelines, you may elect to apply for a Home Heating Credit for your primary heat source.
  • Low-Income Weatherization: If you meet low-income guidelines, you may receive help to lower your energy bills when you weatherize your home or rental unit.
  • Low-Income Home Improvement Loan: Qualified low-income households can receive low interest home improvement loans of 4% to 8%, depending upon income.
  • Michigan Community Action Agencies: A network of agencies committed to assisting Michigan families that provide assistance with energy cost.
  • Michigan Veterans Trust Fund: Temporary assistance for emergencies or hardships, including energy assistance, is available to eligible wartime veterans and their families in Michigan.
  • The Salvation Army: Provides families with assistance with emergency needs, such as food, clothing, transportation, shelter, home heating and medicine. Salvation Army Eastern Michgan Division or Salvation Army Western Michigan and Northern Indiana Division
  • State Emergency Relief Fund (SER): Assists qualified households that have a heat or electric past due notice, shut-off notice or a need for deliverable fuel. View Application
  • State Earned Income Tax Credit: A taxpayer may claim a Michigan earned income tax credit equal to a percentage of the federal earned income tax credit for which the taxpayer is eligible.
  • TrueNorth Community Services: Programs and services may help you with heat/energy bills and energy conservation initiatives.
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