Agency offers tips for paying heating bills, cutting costs

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — As a winter deep freeze grips Michigan, officials say resources are available to help pay heating bills and keep utility costs under control.

The state Public Service Commission provides $50 million for heating through the Michigan Energy Assistance Program. A number of community agencies around the state can help with applying for the funds. Call 211 for assistance.

Utilities such as Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, Upper Peninsula Power Co. and Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. also offer programs for people having trouble paying bills.

The public service commission suggests a number of ways to hold down heating costs.

Among them are checking furnace filters regularly, installing a programmable thermostat, sealing air leaks around windows and doors, adding tempered glass doors to fireplaces and scheduling a home energy assessment.

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