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Jackson-based Consumers Energy says it will suspend shutoffs for non-pay for seniors and low-income customers starting today until April 5, citing “unprecedented circumstances” surrounding the spread of coronavirus.
Utility officials say the timeframes “could be adjusted depending on the spread and severity of the virus.”
Seniors and qualified low-income customers already enrolled in Consumers’ Winter Protection Program have already had their end-dates extended through May 3, Consumers said.
“This ensures our most vulnerable customers have the services they need during this state of emergency. All shut-off notices will be withheld to prevent any additional stress for these customers,” the company said in a statement.
According to the watchdog group Energy and Policy Institute, several governments have ordered statewide disconnection suspensions, including Wisconsin and Ohio.
The move comes as Michigan escalates its response to the novel coronavirus. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to announce today that bars and restaurants must close dine-in services and offer only take-out or delivery.
As of Sunday night, Michigan had 53 positive cases of COVID-19.