Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a law creating a fund to help low-income residents keep their homes warm.
Snyder said after Monday's bill signing that the Low Income Energy Assistance Fund provides "a long-term solution to help Michigan's most vulnerable citizens."
It authorizes the Public Service Commission to raise up to $50 million for low-income energy assistance. An additional $10 million in federal money will be put into the fund.
Michigan regulators can add up to a $1 monthly surcharge to bills. Utilities can opt out of charging the fee, but major ones that have more delinquent customers can tap into the federal heating assistance fund if they participate.
If they opt out, they would be barred from shutting off service to delinquent accounts from Nov. 1 to April 15.