heating bills http://michiganradio.org en More options, protections against heat shutoffs this winter – but no guarantees http://michiganradio.org/post/more-options-protections-against-heat-shutoffs-winter-no-guarantees <p>Michigan customers who struggle to pay heating bills have some additional legal protections from heat shutoffs this winter.</p><p>But with the ongoing brutal cold, this will prove a painful winter for people already struggling to pay utility bills. And some households still face the very real prospect of going without heat.</p><p>In 2013, the state implemented <a href="http://www.weltman.com/publications/articles/?i=774&amp;NH">a variety of new rules</a> outlining how and when utilities can shut off service to residential customers.</p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 19:00:02 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 16192 at http://michiganradio.org More options, protections against heat shutoffs this winter – but no guarantees Lower funding for emergency heating assistance forces policy changes http://michiganradio.org/post/lower-funding-emergency-heating-assistance-forces-policy-changes <p>Michigan residents needing help with their heating bills <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dhs/Important-SER-changes_435619_7.pdf">are in for some changes this year.</a></p><p>Because of a new law, people seeking assistance will only have a seven-month window to apply, instead of year-round. That window opens November First.</p><p>Michigan Department of Human Services spokesman Dave Akerly says once that window opens, people will begin qualifying for help when they get a past-due notice, instead of having to wait until they face a heat shutoff.</p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 14755 at http://michiganradio.org Lower funding for emergency heating assistance forces policy changes