Great Lakes Energy will print any past due amount or delinquent notice on your monthly bill. If you receive one of these notices, please contact our office immediately to arrange payment so your service will not be shut off. If your service is shut off, additional fees apply.
If You Are Unable to Pay
If you are unable to pay your bill in full, call us to make payment arrangements. If your account remains unpaid after the due date, it is considered delinquent and our usual collection procedures, including notice of intent to discontinue service, will begin.
Need Help Paying?
Please contact us before high bills become a problem in order to be protected against loss of your electric service. For information on bill payment assistance through the Department of Health & Human Services, click here.
Read our Payment and Assistance Guide for more details on payment assistance programs offered.
2-1-1 Referral Line
One simple call to 2-1-1, a free community health and human services information and referral service, connects eligible residents with energy payment assistance help and much more.
Call 2-1-1 or visit them online for information and referral services for energy bill payment assistance and other health and human service needs. Calls are confidential.
Assistance Programs and Credits
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) along with the state’s regulated utilities offer the heating assistance programs and credits listed below. Please read to see if you qualify. For more information visit the MPSC’s Be Winter Wise website.
Winter Protection Plan
Contact: Great Lakes Energy at 1-888-485-2537
The Emergency Winter Protection Plan protects senior and low-income members from service shutoffs and high utility bill payments during the winter months (Nov. 1 – March 31). Enrollment begins Nov. 1. To participate, you must agree to the terms of the Winter Protection Plan for the upcoming heating season. If you are an eligible low-income member, your utility service will remain on from November 1-March 31, provided:
- you pay at least 7% of your estimated annual bill each month, and
- you make equal monthly payments of 1/12 of any past due bills between the date you apply and the start of the next heating season.
When the protection period ends (March 31), from April 1 through October 31, you must begin to pay the full monthly bill, plus part of the amount you owe from the winter months when you did not pay the full bill. Participation does not relieve members from the responsibility of paying for electricity and natural gas usage, but does prevent shut-off during winter months.
You qualify for the plan if you meet at least one of the following requirements:
- you are age 65 or older;
- you receive Department of Health & Human Services cash assistance;
- you receive Food Assistance;
- you receive Medicaid;
- your household income is at or below the 150% of poverty level shown in the Income Guidelines chart below.
Senior citizen members (65 or older) who participate in the Winter Protection Plan are not required to make specific payments to ensure that their service will not be shut-off between Nov. 1 and March 31. However, seniors are encouraged to pay whatever they can during the winter so they will not have large, unmanageable bills when the protection ends.
Winter Protection Plan – Income Guidelines
Income Guidelines (2018-2019)
The chart below is updated every November:
Number of Household Members / 150% of Poverty Guidelines Maximum Income
1 / $18,210
2 / $24,690
3 / $31,170
4 / $37,650
5 / $44,130
6 / $50,610
7 / $57,090
8 / $63,570
Add $6,480 for each additional household member.
All customers 65 or older are eligible regardless of income. However, you are responsible for all service used. At the end of the protection period, all customers must arrange to pay the outstanding bills before the next heating season.
Home Heating Credit
Contact: Michigan Department of Treasury at 1-517-636-4486.
You can apply for a Home Heating Credit if you:
- meet the program’s income guidelines of 110% of poverty level;
- you own or rent the home where you live in Michigan;
- you qualify based on alternate guidelines including household income, exemptions, and heating costs.
Additional exemptions are available for seniors, disabled claimants or claimants with 5% or more of their income from unemployment compensation.
If you qualify, you may receive assistance to help pay for your winter heating bills.
Forms are available in January wherever tax forms are provided, or from the Michigan Department of Treasury (call 1-517-636-4486), or on the Internet.
The Home Heating Credit claim form must be filed with the Michigan Dept. of Treasury no later than Sept. 30 each year.
Crisis Assistance Program
Contact your local Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, or call the Home Heating Hotline at 1-855-275-6424.
The State Emergency Relief Program (SER): You do not have to be a client of the Department of Health & Human Services to apply. This program is available Nov. 1 – May 31, subject to the availability of funds, to assist low-income households that have a heat or electric shut-off or a need for deliverable fuel. However, if you receive an DHHS cash grant, you may vendor part of that grant towards heat and electric bills. Contact your DHHS caseworker for information on vendoring a cash grant.
Low Income Home Weatherization
Contact your local Community Action Agency for details. Visit mcaaa.org to find an agency in your area.
You may be able to receive help with weatherizing your home to reduce energy use if you meet low-income eligibility guidelines (200% of poverty guidelines) and funding is available. Weatherization may include caulking, weather-stripping, and insulating.
Medical Emergency Protection
Contact: Great Lakes Energy at 1-888-485-2537
You are protected from service shut-off for non-payment of your electric bill for up to 21 days at a time, not to exceed 63 days, if you have a proven medical emergency. You must provide written proof from a doctor, public health or social services official that a medical emergency exists.
Shut-off Protection for Military Active Duty
Contact: Great Lakes Energy at 1-888-485-2537.
If you or your spouse has been called into active military duty you may apply for shut-off protection from your electric service for up to 90 days. You will still be required to pay, but we will help you set up a payment plan.
Michigan Veterans Trust Fund Emergency Grant Program
Contact the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund at 1-517-284-5299 or michiganveterans.com.
The Trust Fund provides temporary assistance to veterans and their families facing a financial emergency or hardship including the need for energy assistance.