With June 1 rapidly approaching, Cloverland Electric reminds its members that past due accounts will be disconnected for non-payment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for disconnects due to non-payment was extended from the original April 15 date.
The cooperative urges residential members struggling to pay their electric bill to contact local assistance agencies and to make a payment plan. The State of Michigan recently received an additional $35 million in federal funding to help vulnerable households struggling to pay utility bills. Since April 1, qualifying members of Cloverland Electric have been eligible to receive State Emergency Relief (SER) which is funded through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Cloverland Electric reminds its members of this important guidance:
- Do not wait until the pandemic is over to take action. Call assistance agencies immediately if you fall behind on your electric bill to avoid longer wait times to reach assistance agencies, longer application processing and exhaustion of available funding. Some assistance agencies may also set restrictions on funding available for each applicant. Do not assume the rules or funding parameters will remain unchanged.
- Contact Cloverland to make a payment arrangement. Consistently making a monthly payment towards your past due balance is better than making no payments at all. A payment plan helps prevent a large balance and avoids interruption of service once the moratorium on disconnects is lifted. Payment arrangements with the co-op are also available to business accounts.
- Learn ways to reduce your bill by using less electricity. Energy efficiency practices help reduce your bill. Energy-saving tips are offered through Cloverland’s Facebook page, Cloverland Connections magazine and Cloverland.com. Complete a free home energy audit online at: michigan-energy.org/audit/Cloverland.
- Call 2-1-1 or visit mi211.org to learn about agencies in your county that can assist with your electric bill. Most agencies are closed to walk-up traffic and are only taking appointments requested by phone. Program information and a list of local agencies are listed on com/billing-assistance.
To serve Michigan families struggling with energy costs related to COVID-19, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) streamlined the application process for its primary energy assistance program, State Emergency Relief (SER). Changes were implemented to ensure faster processing of emergency requests and make access to benefits easier for Michigan’s most vulnerable households. Local agencies reported same-day approvals due to these changes. MDHHS advises members to apply for funding via MiBridges online at https://newmibridges.michigan.gov or by calling 1-844-464-3447. Note: other agencies may require residents to apply for funding with MDHHS first before they are able to assist.