young man and senior woman reviewing budget

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

See If You Qualify

Before you begin reviewing options please take a moment to check if your household income-qualifies for assistance.

Number of Household Members 110% - HHC 150% - WPP, CARE, Lifeline 200% - WAP, SPP, Helping Neighbors
1 $13,271 $18,090 $24,120
2 $17,871 $24,360 $32,480
3 $22,471 $30,630 $40,840
4 $27,071 $36,900 $49,200
5 $31,671 $43,170 $57,560
6 $36,271 $49,440 $65,920

*For families at 110% the Federal Poverty Level, add $4,600 for each additional member. At 150%, add $6,270 for each additional member. At 200%, add $8,360 for each additional family member.
Assistance we offer icon

Assistance We Offer

We have a variety of ways to help you.
 

SEE THE LIST
Nonprofit agency assistance icon

Nonprofit Agency Assistance

Assistance offered by other agencies and organizations.

SEE THE LIST

Choose Which Best Describes You

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.

If you are unable to pay and have fallen behind on your bill, you don’t have to wait. For most programs, a past-due balance is sufficient to get help. Please explore the program links below:

Number of Household Members 110% - HHC 150% - WPP, CARE, Lifeline 200% - WAP, SPP, Helping Neighbors
1 $13,271 $18,090 $24,120
2 $17,871 $24,360 $32,480
3 $22,471 $30,630 $40,840
4 $27,071 $36,900 $49,200
5 $31,671 $43,170 $57,560
6 $36,271 $49,440 $65,920

*For families at 110% the Federal Poverty Level, add $4,600 for each additional member. At 150%, add $6,270 for each additional member. At 200%, add $8,360 for each additional family member.

We Recommend:

Nonprofit Agency Assistance:


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

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:

  • 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.
  • Manage Your Monthly Energy Cost: Discover smart ways to reduce your energy use and make your home more energy efficient.

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.

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:

Assistance We Offer

Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy (CARE)

Qualifying households may apply for this two-year payment plan which includes monthly credits towards energy charges as well as assistance on a past due balance. Qualified participants also receive access to energy-saving tools, including in-home energy efficiency upgrades. Application is required during the annual 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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Critical Care Program

If you are on life-support or have a life threatening medical condition, you are eligible for shut off protection. Please complete the Medical Certification Form to get started. Please note, if you are participating in life support shut off protection, you need to re-enroll every year.

PLEASE NOTE: Backup generators and transportation services are not part of this program. Participation in this program does not mean your electric power will be restored sooner than others.

Get Started

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Homeless Shelter Discount Program

Homeless Shelters may apply to receive a 25% discount for December, January, and February energy bills. For complete details on how to qualify and apply, see the form.

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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:
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