Consumers Energy’s Smart Energy program will allow for an enhanced and exciting level of communication between our company and our customers.
Consumers Energy is upgrading its meter technology to smart meters. Installations for residential customers began in late 2012 and commercial and industrial customer smart meter upgrades began in early 2015. The meter technology upgrade for 1.8 million electric customers and 600,000 natural gas service customers within our electric service territory will continue through 2017.
Smart meters are similar to existing electric meters, but have a two-way communication module that utilizes the cellular telephone network to send secure, encrypted messages about energy usage. For customers who have had their meters upgraded, the Smart Energy Program provides enhanced billing accuracy through the elimination of estimated bills and a web portal where customers can monitor their hourly electric usage. In the future, customers will also have the ability to sign up for money saving programs.
In the future, the smart meters will be integrated into the Company’s existing outage management system Electronic outage notifications will help Consumers Energy to utilize outage restoration resources more efficiently and respond to outages quicker. Data from smart meters will also help operate the Company’s electric distribution system more efficiently, providing more insight into how the system is performing.
Updated June 2015