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Consumers Energy bill complaints spike following Problem Solvers investigation

Posted at 10:59 PM, Sep 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-03 22:59:55-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- More people are coming forward with complaints about massive spikes in their Consumers Energy bills following a FOX 17 Problem Solvers report. Nearly 300 people reached out to FOX 17 following Wednesday's report where Consumers Energy customers said their bills spiked up to 13 times their normal cost.

A Consumers Energy spokesperson says the charges make up for previously estimated usage that proved to be too low.  If Consumers doesn't get an actual meter reading, they estimate usage. Then at a later date when they get the actual usage, they tack on the charges to the next bill.

Grand Rapids resident Alisa Stewart was one of the dozens of people who reached out to FOX 17 about their Consumers Energy bill. Before her meter was replaced with a smart meter, she received a bill three times what she expected, so she contacted the company. "When I read the numbers to her off the meter, she said 'Yes, that's a misread and we will issue you another bill,'" Stewart said.

Consumers Energy says smart meters will eliminate misreadings like this, and they hope to have all Michigan meters changed to smart meters by 2017.  There are roughly 800,000 more smart meters that need to be installed in the state. The smart meter sends usage readings to the utility daily, so they constantly know how much energy their customers are using.

If you have any questions about your bill, call Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050 or their website.