The Winter Protection Plan (WPP) protects senior and low‐income customers of MPSC‐regulated natural gas and electric companies, as well as rural electric cooperatives. Customers may find relief from electric or natural gas service shut‐off and high utility payments between November 1 and March 31.
Persons qualify for the plan if they meet any of the following criteria:
• are age 65 or older (some companies may use age 62)
• receive Michigan Department of Human Services cash assistance
• receive Food Stamps or Medicaid
• have a household income at or below 150% of the poverty level
The WPP allows eligible low‐income customers to make monthly payments of at least 7% of their estimated annual bill, November through March, and avoid shut‐off during that time even if their bills are higher. Low‐income customers with past due bills must also pay a portion of the amount owed in equal monthly installments between the time they apply for WPP and the start of the following heating season. Eligible senior citizens participating in Winter Protection are
not required to make specific monthly payments between November 1 and March 31, but are encouraged to do so to avoid higher bills when the protection period ends. At the end of the protection period, both low‐income and senior citizens taking part in the plan must pay off any money owed in installments between April and November.
To apply for this or other shutoff protection plans, contact your natural gas or electric utility company or alternative gas supplier. Get Help by Calling 2‐1‐1. 2‐1‐1 is a one‐stop, around‐the‐clock free phone service that links people with information or agencies that can help with utility assistance, rent payments, child and elder care, emergency shelters, job training, counseling, etc.