Consumers Energy fined $515K for billing violations

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jun 09, 2016

LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Public Service Commission on Thursday announced a fine against Consumers Energy for the company's estimated billing practices.

The commission is fining Consumers Energy $515,800, according to a release.  The fine comes after the MPSC released a reportin May on the company's billing practices.  The report contained 11 recommendations to the company, all of them telling Consumers to step it up in certain areas.

About 49,000 meters were estimated for three consecutive months, and over 12,000 customers had estimated bills for a year or more.

Some customers received estimated bills for hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars.

"Consumers Energy's lack of effective monitoring, controls and consumer communications to avoid recurring estimated bills for such a large number of customers over an extended period of time shows a disregard for the Commission's rules," said MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg in a release.  "No customers should receive an estimated bill for over a year."

A company spokesperson said Consumers plans to comply with the commission's order.

"Consumers Energy is addressing the issue of estimated customer bills as it works with the Michigan Public Service Commission," a statement from Consumers spokesperson  Dan Bishop reads.  We recognize that our performance on this issue does not reflect our standards of customer service, and we are committed to making this right."