With frigid cold draped across Michigan, we want to remind customers about programs, dollars and ways to lower and get help with energy bills.

“Natural gas costs less than half as much as it did last year. Still, Consumers Energy is looking out for our friends and neighbors, to be sure they stay safe and comfortable in their homes as temperatures have plunged below zero,” Lauren Snyder, vice president of customer experience, said. “You should know you can take action to reduce your energy bill, and you can find help by reaching out with just a phone call.”

Snyder shared these tips to reduce energy waste. Learn more at ConsumersEnergy.com/coldweather.

  • Have your heating system tuned and inspected by a service professional. Heat losses from a poorly maintained system can range between 1-2 percent a year.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filter often during the heating season. If your furnace can “breathe” more easily, it will use less energy.
  • Dial your thermostat down at night and add an extra blanket for warmth. Adjusting your home’s temperature by even 1 degree can lower your heating bill by 1 to 3 percent.
  • Make sure your attic, basement, garage and exterior doors are closed to prevent cold drafts from getting in and heat from getting out.
  • Schedule a Consumers Energy home energy analysis. The free analysis offers ways you can take action to save energy at home.

Customers who need help should contact 2-1-1. The free service connects Michiganders with nonprofits to find help with basic needs, from energy bills to food and shelter. Visit ConsumersEnergy.com/assistance to learn more.

Other sources of help:

  • Apply for State Emergency Relief (SER) at gov/mibridges.
  • Contact Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 to make payment arrangements.
  • Apply for a Home Heating Credit at gov/treasury.

“We know that asking for help can feel intimidating, but it’s vital for people to understand assistance is available right here in our communities, regardless of the situation,” Snyder said. “We’ll know we’re making a difference this winter when everyone finds the helping hand to get them through challenges.”

Check out these blogs for more ideas on how to stay warm and save this winter:

6 Budget-Friendly Tips for Winterizing your Home

Programs and other Assistance Resources Available for Energy Bills