Thanks to Countless Program Partners

After Bonnie’s husband passed away, she found herself living on a fixed income, which was now about half as much. She suffers from a chronic illness and was living on her Social Security. She made the difficult decision to sell her home near Hesperia and purchase a substantially smaller one near Edmore. In theory, it would be cheaper to maintain and have lower energy costs. She was told by the seller a pellet burner, the only heating source in the house, would easily heat the entire home. She learned very early on that was not the case and ended up having to use supplemental plug-in electric heaters just to stay warm. This sent her electric bills skyrocketing and she found herself falling further and further behind on all her bills.

She was referred to TrueNorth by a Corewell Health worker and she was connected to our emPower program for Heat and Energy assistance and Self-Sufficiency services. Knowing the long-term solution was to have an actual propane, forced air furnace installed, the first step was to enroll her in an Affordable Payment Plan with Consumers Energy, to lower her overall electric bills. Luckily, it was the end of the cold season and this gave Bonnie and her Complex Care Advisor, Jessica, time to start looking for any other resources they could find to help pay for a new furnace, all while Bonnie saved money over the summer.

Jessica was able to connect with the Department of Health and Human Services for part of the cost of a new furnace, and with the money Bonnie had saved being on an affordable payment plan, she was able to have a new furnace installed before the next heating season.

“With all the help I got with my utilities and other things, I can definitely breathe easier… it’s made a substantial difference in my life,” said Bonnie.