Economy
10:35 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Utility fee to help avoid winter shut-offs

LANSING, MI (AP)--   State regulators have approved a 99-cent monthly fee to help Michigan residents pay their energy bills and avoid a shut-off. 

The charge applies to all customers, starting in September, unless a utility opts out of the program. The Michigan Public Service Commission says only a few so far have declined to participate.

The money will be passed to the state of Michigan, which will help low-income residents pay their bills and avoid losing electricity, natural gas or propane, mostly in winter and early spring.

If a utility opts out of the program, it can't cut off power between November and April 15.