Consumers Energy will start charging their increased peak hours rates for the summer today.

The Summer Peak Rate Plan from Consumers is nothing new, but if you don't pay attention it can add quite a bit to your energy bill. Consumers tries to sell this as a good plan that helps you have more control over your bill. I think most of us look at it as a way for Consumers to charge more during the times that we would be most likely to use big appliances at home.

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The good news is that even if you completely ignored the peak rate hours, Consumers says that most customers won't see a huge increase in their bill. According to the plan on their site, the average increase is about $2 more per month.

The thought process behind the peak rate is to try and prevent strain on the energy grid. During the summer months, the hottest hours of the day are usually in the early afternoon and evening. This is when most people are getting home from work, and turning their AC way up. They're also cooking dinner, doing dishes, and maybe even a quick load of laundry. Consumers is hoping that people will take steps to avoid big energy usage during these peak hours to keep the energy grid from being overworked in the summer heat.

Consumers does offer a variety of tips to help avoid any larger bills during the peak rate hours.

  • Set your AC to run before 2pm and let the cool night air in after 7pm.
  • Avoid doing laundry during the peak hours, or hang clothes outside to dry
  • Using the cold water cycle for laundry

There are many more listed on their site, and if you have any questions about the Summer Peak Rate, you can get answers here.

If you are having any problems paying your bill, Consumers does have programs in place to help you catch up. The first step is to call 211 or visit michigan.gov/cera.

 

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