LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Sure, it’s cold outside but is that the reason why Consumers Energy customers are seeing their bills take a significant hike? Not entirely.
“An average month is about 30 days for your bill, the last bill cycle was about 35 days so you had a combination of both colder weather and a longer period of time that we were billing you for,” said Brian Wheeler; Consumers Energy Spokesperson.
That longer billing period is why Wheeler says customers may be seeing a boost in their utility bills.
Another factor he says to consider is the use of that energy during the holidays.
“About 2/3 of your gas usage is during the winter months so that’s why the bills go higher,” Wheeler stated.
Wheeler says this week alone Consumers Energy has received thousands of calls from frustrated customers about the spike; Robert Williams is one of them.
“We’ve been staying around $140 to $200 a month depending on the usage, this month its $340.”
And Williams isn’t the only one. He says his neighbors are seeing an increase too with some bills almost doubling in cost.
“The rates keep going up and my concern is are the rates going up or is it the fact that they put in the smart meter because ever since they put in the smart meter, you’re starting to see all these influxes in bills and a lot of people complaining that their bills are going up,” said Williams.
But Wheeler says there are ways to use your energy more efficiently in order to reduce costs.
“If you can set your thermostat to 68 when your home or as low as 58 when you’re away for an extended period of time, that can really take some cost off your bills,” Wheeler stated.
And if you can’t afford to pay your bill, Wheeler says customers can call the utility company to work out a payment plan.
For tips on how to keep your energy bill as low as possible during the winter months, there’s some advice for you on Consumers Energy’s website.
You can find a link to their page on the “Seen on 6” section of our website.