If you need help with those energy bills, there's some good news. Consumers Energy is extending the enrollment period for Michigan households that are seeking assistance for energy bills.

Through the Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy (CARE) program, qualified customers receive a monthly credit on their Consumers Energy bill, assistance with a past-due balance and help with energy efficiency improvements.

United Way of Jackson County is serving as an enrollment and processing contact for CARE throughout Michigan.

“The money available through CARE is set aside solely to help those who need it,” said Ken Toll, president and CEO of United Way of Jackson County. “Consumers Energy is committed to seeing those funds are fully used. When struggling households know their utility needs are met, they can direct their income to other crucial needs such as food, housing and medicines.”

Since this year’s CARE program launched, nearly 1,370 of 2,000 available slots through the United Way’s enrollment channel have been filled. To make sure every household that qualifies for help has an opportunity to apply for remaining slots, Consumers Energy has extended the United Way enrollment deadline to Feb. 12.

Households eligible for the CARE program must meet these criteria:

  • The Consumers Energy account holder or his/her spouse must be the person who applies.
  • Income equal or less than 150 percent of Federal Poverty Level guidelines may qualify.
  • All applicants must have a Consumers Energy account that is past due and an outstanding balance no greater than $3,000.

To find out more about CARE, or to enroll in the program, call (844) 249-0763, email CAREprogram@uwjackson.org or go to www.uwjackson.org/care-program.