One thing that's been pretty incredible about our work over the last few months is finding ways to connect you with ways to get a hand in a time when those who never once thought that they'd need it. Even to find out that the hand is there has been pretty amazing and it comes from places who provide the necessities that keep us all going. Consumers Energy is one of those companies, and today Rich Houtteman joins us to talk about how they go above and beyond in our current times and always for our community.
One of the key things to know is there is a very heavy philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy for the communities they serve through the Consumers Energy Foundation. They go about it in a way that doesn't often get seen on the surface, but their contributions to agencies that provide human services is staggering. Since March, across Michigan more than $3.6 Million has been provided to communities across Michigan for the COVID-19 relief efforts. This finding does not come from our energy bills, it comes from shareholder funds...to put it a little more simply, it comes from the bottom line. It's a true give. Food, safety material, health services and more all coming to our area in the times it's needed most and it doesn't stop there. Consumers Energy also works daily on more levels to help business and consumers with their needs.
Consumers Energy offers a multitude of ways to help you lower costs, help you know where you can improve efficiency, how better to manage your billing and even help you with some things that can give you long term savings by minor changes like LED bulbs, more efficient shower heads and more. The Helping Neighbors Program is the first step for consumers and your free home energy analysis is only a phone call away at 1-833-685-1312. In the small business world? They can help you out by linking you to local chambers of commerce, economic development agencies, show you where to apply for grants and loans and more. How about Virtual Energy Coaching? They can do that right over the phone for your small business! Customized energy plans, rebates and ways to help your bottom line period! A great first step is 1-800-805-0490! CLICK HERE for Consumers Energy for Business
You'd be surprised too at the reasons they go to these extents. As the future comes, the push is to manage the generation and storage of power. The costs of making the energy we use, they are pretty high and the peak times of use cause strains on the system and optimizing things, it's in the best interest for all so the work continues at all levels to keep the power on, keep the costs down and build toward the future. It's a bright and forward thinking company who's balance of investment and stewardship of the communities they serve is truly amazing and set with a focus on 10 years from now.
As mentioned, Rich Houtteman is joining us today to talk about some of the programs, initiatives and outreach that goes on. Rich is from right here in Whitehall and he's part of a long line of Consumers Energy people who not only work for the company, but the community. Rich is a member of more than a couple local boards including the United Way. We talk about all the Consumers Energy info and some of his work coming up with the 21 Day Equity Challenge with the United Way, take a listen.
So often, we don't stop and think about the incredibly active roles that are played by companies in our community. Especially those companies that we really can't do without. We focus a lot of time on the "little guy" by design with a lot of our work, but when you stop and think too that the "big guys" play key roles and might not always get the kudos they deserve for it, well, it's time to stop and realize that even the "power players" (get it, "power players") are made up of people just like you and me. They care deeply for the communities they serve and they can help in ways large and small for all of us. So many thanks to Rich for taking the time to share some of the ways Consumers Energy can get to work for all of us today. If you'd like to access their website, please, click below.