You may have heard about Consumers Energy’s plan to try and cut back on electric use during peak hours in the summer.  They did it with 50,000 customers in 2019 but put the full rollout on hold last due to the pandemic.

The Summer Peak Rate, developed by Consumers in collaboration with the Michigan Public Service Commission basically jacks up the peak hour rate, weekdays 2 pm to 7 pm, and encourages us to shift energy use to other hours, when the rate (and consumption) is less.   It goes into effect June 1st for 1.6 million residential electric customers.

Consumers Energy says the Summer Peak Rate gives its customers more control over their energy bills, rewarding them for taking advantage of lower-cost electricity that’s available most of the day .  For most of the year, households will pay a single price for electricity. From June through September, on-peak pricing will be in effect weekdays from 2 to 7 p.m.

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“We know we all can take steps to protect the planet, and using less energy during peak times provides us all an opportunity to make a difference” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president for customer experience. “By shifting energy use to mornings, nights and weekends when the demand for energy is lower, customers can help lower their bills and make an impact on our clean energy future – helping to keep Michigan beautiful for generations to come.“

Customers will likely see a $2 per month increase or less on their bill, but the company says some will even see their bill decrease, depending on what adjustments they make in their home.

Consumers Energy is encouraging households to make a few small changes that can have a big impact on energy use and bills:

  • Install a smart thermostat – Install a programmable or smart thermostat to control your air conditioner and save up to 15% on your energy bill. Smart thermostats automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings for the best performance – and when combined with the Smart Thermostat Program, can help lower use during peak times without lifting a finger. Consumers Energy has rebates and discounted options at ConsumersEnergyStore.com.
  • Adjust your air conditioner – Generally, adjusting your thermostat by 1 degree can reduce your electric bill by 1-3%.
  • Postpone chores – Run the dishwasher and do the laundry before 2 p.m. and after 7 p.m. on the weekdays or save it for the weekend.
  • Refresh your AC filters – Clean or replace your AC filters once a month to allow your air conditioner to run more efficiently.
  • Swap out lightbulbs – Replace old incandescent bulbs with longer-lasting LEDs. Rebates for lightbulbs and appliances are available at ConsumersEnergyStore.com.
Smart Thermostadt-TSM Photo

You can learn more about the new Summer Peak Rate by clicking here.

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