Consumers Energy rolling out 'Summer Time of Use Rate'

Published: May. 16, 2019 at 1:09 PM EDT
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(05/16/19) - Summer is just around the corner and so is a new rate plan for Consumers Energy.

The utility company is slowly rolling out a program it believes can save energy and cut down your bill.

But customers will have to make some changes to see the potential savings.

The program is called the 'Summer Time of Use Rate'. Consumers Energy is asking you to cut back during peak summer hours, 2-7 p.m., from June through September.

"For 19 hours a day you're going to pay just one standard rate for electricity. Between two and seven p.m. you're going to pay higher rates," said Brian Wheeler, spokesman for Consumers Energy.

This summer just three percent of Consumers Energy's 1.6 million customers will be on the plan. Next summer everyone will be on it.

"We're not asking people to be uncomfortable or to be unsafe. We just want you to be mindful of your actions and understand that if you can use a little bit less electricity at those peak times, you'd do a lot of good," Wheeler said.

If you cut back, your bill could be lower if you cut back.

Wheeler explained why they're targeting the 2-7 p.m. timeframe. "That's when electricity becomes very expensive. It's really a question of supply and demand, because people are running their air conditioners," he said.

Some ways to cut back include getting y our air conditioning unit tuned up, using a programable thermostat, and closing your curtains or blinds to keep the hot sun out. "Turn off the lights, make sure you have energy efficient lights. Make sure that you're doing the dishes off peak hours, or the laundry off peak hours," Wheeler said.

And if you choose not to make any changes Wheeler said you likely won't notice a huge increase. "If nobody does anything differently, most customers will see an increase in their monthly bills that will be four dollars or less," Wheeler said.

Right now Consumers is working to notify anyone who is part of the Summer Time of Use Rate. To learn more about it click on the 'Related Link' with this story.