Consumers Energy defends higher prices, bills

Families around West Michigan have been seeing higher electric bills this month, but Consumers Energy says there's a simple explanation for the increase. Full Story

Since: Jul 07

Key West

#21 Aug 2, 2008
it's official.. my bill is more than the cost of my 1st CAR!

Spring Lake, MI

#22 Aug 2, 2008
As for the price increase, I don't like it any more that anyone else but the price of gas and materials to maintain the system is going up for utilities just as fast as it it in any other sector. At least we don't live in Alaska, everything istwice as expensive up there. I visited Dutch Harbor and the price for a jar of peanut butter was like eleven or twelve dollars.

Since: Oct 07

Big Rapids, MI

#23 Aug 2, 2008
I've got a copy of my bill going to the Michigan Public Service Commission, and others to each elected official.

Our average usage for the last 12 months has been about 1,400 kwh. This month we got the "Hat Trick"! Rate Increase, 37 Day Billing, and an ESTIMATED bill that they figured was fair. That fair estimate was 2,355 kwh!

Last month's bill -$147 / This month's bill -$310!

Any person who can tell me that "I'm not really paying more" shouldn't be working for Consumer's Energy, they should be working for Granholm!

“Dude, Where's my car?”

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#24 Aug 2, 2008
BR Bean Counter wrote:
Any person who can tell me that "I'm not really paying more" shouldn't be working for Consumer's Energy, they should be working for Granholm!
LMAO. So true Bean. My bill last month...$42.00. My bill this month $70.00 and change. Time for a solar charger for my cell phone and laptop!

United States

#25 Aug 2, 2008
What crappy reporting WOOD TV! You didn't find out why. I did some researching of my own and here is what I found.

1. The penalty rate for electric usage over 600 KWH per month has been increased by a very large margin! You now pay about 12 cents per KWH. The base rate has been reduced a fraction of a penny.

2. There is now a $6.00 per month customer fee. Consumers energy says the average customer will not see an increase of their bill because of this. Well, they are LYING! There is NOTHING in there tariff sheets to indicate that this fee will be discounted based on usage! The reduction of the base rate does not make up for it!

3. Discounts for electric water heaters and/or electric furnaces are now completely gone! You used to get about 10 KWH per day at a discounted rate if you have an electric water heater. Now your electric usage for the water heater will effectively fall under 600KWH+ per month PENALTY RATE during the summer! This is a huge rate increase for those with electric water heaters!

4. Senior citizen farming and life support discounts are now a fixed monthly sum. I bet the discount the average senior citizen gets is now less under this new rate structure.

Remember all those ads Consumers Energy and Con Ed ran they ran promising stable electric rates and new jobs if the state passes their energy plan. Guess what! We are now paying the price! If the 8% alternative energy mandate passes expect a further increase of your electric bill by another 20 to 30 percent.

You can thank Jennifer Granholm for this rate increase. This is part of the effort to create parity between residential and non-residential electric rates. Big businesses such as Walmart now get lower electric rates because residential customers now pay more. Will they increase the wages of their employees because of the increased profits? No way! Will more businesses go to Michigan because of this? No. All she did is make life more miserable for Michigan residents for the benefit of our corporate masters.

United States

#26 Aug 2, 2008
Okay folks.

Bend over, drop em' and get the lube.
in this together

Granbury, TX

#27 Aug 2, 2008
Same story.. my bill went from about $105 a month to $269!! We are never home since I work 10 1/2 hours a day and we don't leave lights on or crank AC, etc. I have argued with them over the $105 for years and even did little "tests" with not using electicial items for a couple of weeks at all, had an electrician come out and look things over to see if something was pulling more electric then it should be ... nothing, and my bills didn't change either. Now this.. with everything going up such tremendous amounts I guess I need to face the reality that I'm probably going to lose my house within the next year. Seriously,$269 a month for electricity! That's equal to a used car payment!!

For the person up there that said "if something doesn't give, soon it will take its toll on everyone", well it already has started to do just that. Look at some of these bizarre crime headlines that just keep coming more and more with each day. People can't handle this type of stress for too long and it's already starting to take its toll.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that we are all in this together. All of us are struggling and all of us are stressing. Just remember it's not just happening to you, it's happening to all of us. You're not a failure if you can't keep up with all of this and don't let it make you feel that way. You're not alone and it's not just happening to you. We are all losing our azzes here not matter how hard we try we got too many entities working against us (gas, electric, job cuts) that are out of our control. Somehow, we have to figure out how to get control of those entities...

Allendale, MI

#28 Aug 2, 2008
That won't happen for a LONG time.. I know someone in the high ranks of you really think that in our world there has not been gas-less cars built? Besides just electric? They are out there but I was told to leave it alone...that my voice would do nothing... Exon Mobile holds the yuppies under their can buy anything
ambrosia wrote:
Hey, y'all. Just wait until the electric cars come out.
Then you will see some electric bills.

Since: Mar 08


#29 Aug 2, 2008
curious wrote:
I'm just tired of all this rising prices on gas, food, you name it. I am not even doing grocery shopping anymore. I buy a few things at Aldi when I need it. I have not used my 2 credit cards in months. Have $500 limit and got it down to $400 and the other have $300 limit and it's down to $240. Will pay them off and keep them for an emergency. I think the stress of owing, owing and not being able to cover basic bills and food will take it's toll on everyone soon.
It already has for alot of people. I know I have a hard time making every month on disability. The year raise we get doesn't even over the rising cost of living. If it weren't for my helpful boyfriend, I wouldn't be making it at all.

Since: Jul 08

Pleasanton, CA

#30 Aug 2, 2008
Liz wrote:
Phil, I called CE last month when my bill DOUBLED!! Normally $28-$40, it was $78. Was told they raised prices 15%
Today I got my bill and it was $115. About fell out of my chair, it has never, ever been higher than $60 and in the past 6 months we've replaced our refrigerator with an energy saver and use the newfangled light bulbs. Can't figure out why it's so high.
I guess I am unusual my bill went down about 25% and we just added central air.

Since: Mar 08


#31 Aug 2, 2008
Nicholas wrote:
Well CE said that they have not read our meter for 36 months its been an est.but now they can magicaly read it and gave us 20 days to pay $1990.37 or they will shut it off on me my wife and 3 kids. I called and said we pay our bill every month and have rec. of that they said sorry and the phone went to a busy the back el. is at $0.75cents and the normal on the bill is$0.54per whatever they charge and a 2% late fee will be added every month to the balance that is 40$ per month just late fees. we cant afford this and i guess will have to go without until I can get someone to listen!!!
Contact the Michigan Public Service Commission. They maybe able to help with the situation. There is no way that you should be going without electricity. Especially if you have to go without fans or air...that's just plain dangerous.

“"It is what it is"”

Since: Nov 07

Grand Rapids, MI

#32 Aug 2, 2008
Zchief wrote:
<quoted text>
I guess I am unusual my bill went down about 25% and we just added central air.
Well if you're in Chicago that would be why.. it's Michigan that's getting hit.
Wild Bill

United States

#33 Aug 2, 2008
You haven't seen anything yet.

Wait until McCain/Obama get the "cap-and-trade" idea passed.

Wait until they mandate 20% of electric production to renewables.

All for saving the planet, but starving the people in the process.

“Does Pavlov ring a bell?”

Since: Apr 08

Booger Hollow

#34 Aug 2, 2008
WHY and HOW are companies legally able to "pro-rate" bills?! How can they charge you for a service that you haven't even used for the month? Comcast has done it, now the electric and energy companies are doing it.

How is this legal for them to do this? I don't get it.

“Lost my mind”

Since: Apr 07

be back later

#35 Aug 2, 2008
The worst part for me is when the estimate. They have no clue what we use and don't use in a month, and they estimate way too high. The former owner of our house had them estimate most of the winter (because they are too d.amn lazy to get out of their vehicles and walk around the house) and then had to issue her a $400.00 refund! Every time they estimate us, I call them about it. They keep telling me they can't get to the meter. Funny, they were getting to the meter just fine for over a year and now they can't?

Nicolas, I agree with Bon Van. After complaining to consumers, I was told they are not allowed to estimate your bill for NO MORE Than 3 months in a row. Why should you have to pay for their laziness and incompetence?

Watseka, IL

#36 Aug 2, 2008
I just emailed Consumers about our bill today prior to reading this article. We don't have central air and have unplugged an extra freezer and anything else we can to prevent using electric. Our bill for a family of 3 is ALOT more than they claim is an "average" for a small family. This is getting ridiculous....we trimmed back as much as we can and to try to afford the high grocery prices, the high gas prices and now high energy cost with wages declining... we should've moved out of state when we had the chance!

Watseka, IL

#37 Aug 2, 2008
I dont know why it said I'm from California?? I'm in Michigan.....

Since: Jul 08

Pleasanton, CA

#38 Aug 2, 2008
Suzy - Grand Rapids wrote:
<quoted text>
Well if you're in Chicago that would be why.. it's Michigan that's getting hit.
I'm in Grand Rapids don't trust the location on this thing. My DSL IP address is assigned by the Chicago office
Caledonia native

Grand Rapids, MI

#39 Aug 2, 2008
I'm feeling lucky as my electric increased $19.00 from the last bill to this one. The only difference I noticed was the Power Supply Cost Recovery was .019110 and the month before it was .015680 but I did use 146 KWH more this time around. I was also billed for 37 days. I noticed at the bottom of my bill it told my electric use per day compared with the same time last year and I used 2 KWH less per day so I am curious to dig out last years bill to see what I paid. Any increase, with the economy the way it is, is too much. Thanks to the IN THIS TOGETHER posting. You are right when you say it's not just one person it's a lot of us. I used to feel guilty when I did not pay a bill on time but our family has been through a lot of hard times over the last few years. Job losses, rising prices on EVERYTHING, and a new job that pays $800.00 less per month than the 20 year previous one..........what else can we do? We don't own big fancy vehicles, or a newer house, we have quit going to movies, eating out and shopping....we were a middle class family that has gone to making just above poverty level wages while trying to put our child through collage! Right now, my kids come first. When the paycheck comes I buy gas and groceries and then I worry about the bills!! If I did not do it that way we would starve and would not be able to get to work. And the worse part is I feel like no one cares!

Greenville, MI

#40 Aug 2, 2008
send CONSUMERS ENERGY you complaints and feedback here at this link. ?

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