Home and business owners struggle with high Consumers bills - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Home and business owners struggle with high Consumers bills

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(02/06/14) - Staying warm during this bitterly cold winter comes with a price.
Home and business owners are facing higher utility bills this year.
That bill may not tell the whole story.
One customer says when he got his Consumers Energy bill this month, it was about $400 more than what he's used to paying.

"We have a glass greenhouse that we heat year around at our business and glass doesn't insulate too well," said Howard Achey, who's a business owner.

The extreme cold temperatures aren't making it any easier for Consumers Energy customers.
Achey, who owns Carousel Family Florist in Flint Township, says now that his Consumers bill is $1,100 this month, it won't be easy making up the cost.

"The only way we can recover the cost is by what we sell and the economy isn't such to where we can do that. The greenhouse right now is maybe only a fifth of the way full because we're getting ready for Easter," he said.

Kevin Keane, with Consumers Energy, says because it's much colder this winter than it was last winter, customers should expect to see an increase in their bills.

"Given weather conditions and staffing considerations, we don't get to everyone's home every month. You may get an estimated bill but they're pretty accurate," he said.

That estimated bill should be adjusted once the meters are read. Keane says if you have a problem, you should call immediately and not wait until it's due.

In the meantime, customers just want some relief.

"It's hard for us and I know there's a lot of people that are harder off than what we are," Achey said.

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