Working together for a cleaner, more reliable, affordable energy future

The way we generate, distribute, and use electricity is changing — and that’s leading toward a cleaner, more reliable, and increasingly affordable energy future.

At Consumers Energy, we take pride in serving the people of Michigan with the energy we all rely on while ensuring our future needs are met.

Our Summer Peak Rate program was designed with that in mind.

We collaborated with the Michigan Public Service Commission and others to better reflect differences in the cost of energy at different times of day, plus give customers more control over their energy bills and increase the energy grid’s efficiency and reliability.

That one change by itself can have a lasting positive impact on Michigan for generations to come.

Regardless of how energy is produced, whether through renewable or other sources, it costs more when demand is highest — typically on the hottest summer days, from the hours of 2 to 7 p.m.

That is because, during those times, peak power plants must be turned on to meet demand. By lowering the peak, we are able to avoid building those power plants, which, ultimately, makes the system more efficient and affordable for customers across the state.

An added benefit is that that efficiency helps us meet clean energy goals.

While the cost during peak hours is slightly higher in the summer months under the new rate, it is important to note that the off-peak rate has decreased compared to last summer — and there are more off-peak hours in the day than on-peak.

That is why monthly summer bills will only increase by about $2 compared to last summer if customers don’t change behavior — and can decrease if they do.

In fact, upon analyzing the average electricity of residential customers in June 2021, we’ve confirmed that the Summer Peak Rate’s time-of-use pricing structure increased electric costs by $1.60, compared to what it would have cost with the rate structure from June 2020.

Overall, the Summer Peak Rate is not a rate increase.

Rather, it’s a change in rate structure for the summer months.

It does not generate extra revenue for the company or signal a decrease in reliability.

It does change how we think about our electricity use and we know that change isn’t always easy — that’s why we’re continuing to support customers through education, tools, and programs to help people save.

Working together, we can create a cleaner, more reliable, and affordable energy future for our state and the Michiganders who call it home!

Lauren Youngdahl Snyder is vice president of customer experience at Consumers Energy.


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