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Michiganders seeking utility assistance may have options

"Thermostat of wisdom" by alex_why is licensed with CC BY-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

As the weather gets colder, the State of Michigan continues to offer help for residents who find themselves in crisis situations where they cannot pay their utility bills, buy heating fuel, or fix a broken furnace or boiler.

The State provided this kind of assistance 100-thousand times last year.  The case number has already exceeded 120-thousand for this year.

Tammy Bair is a specialist for the State Emergency Relief program. She says eligible residents can have payments made directly to their energy providers.

“Households that heat with deliverable fuels, fuel oil and propane, they are eligible for up to 1200 dollars," said Bair. "And households that heat with natural gas, those seeking assistance with electricity, they would be eligible for assistance up to 850 dollars”

Bair says homeowners looking for help with a broken boiler or furnace can receive up to four-thousand dollars. The assistance is available to low-income households who can typically pay their bills.