We're experiencing intermittent issues with customers making payments and updating account balances after payment. We're sorry for any inconvenience & ask that you return later to complete your transaction.

We're experiencing intermittent issues with customers making payments and updating account balances after payment. We're sorry for any inconvenience & ask that you return later to complete your transaction.

We're experiencing intermittent issues with customers making payments and updating account balances after payment. We're sorry for any inconvenience & ask that you return later to complete your transaction.

We're experiencing intermittent issues with customers making payments and updating account balances after payment. We're sorry for any inconvenience & ask that you return later to complete your transaction.

We're experiencing intermittent issues with customers making payments and updating account balances after payment. We're sorry for any inconvenience & ask that you return later to complete your transaction.

We're experiencing intermittent issues with customers making payments and updating account balances after payment. We're sorry for any inconvenience & ask that you return later to complete your transaction.

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As of: 5:00 AM, 4/25/24

How We Read Meters

Electric and Natural Gas Customers

Almost every home and business we provide energy for has an upgraded meter. These meters have been shown to be more accurate than older ones. The meters have two-way communication features and make it easier to read your energy use each month.

To report a reading, a module within the meter sends total energy use through a secure network. Then, you can view hourly energy use online the next day.

Upgraded meters let you make better energy choices with benefits like:

  • Better meter read accuracy.
  • The choice to select the bill due date that works for you.
  • Detailed energy use information at your fingertips.
  • Faster knowledge of outages, so we can respond more quickly.
You can view energy-saving tips, get automated alerts when your energy use is higher than expected, and see your energy use by hour, day or month.

Natural Gas Customers

Gas Automated Meter Reading (AMR) is being provided for our gas-only customers. This upgrade to existing natural gas meters will improve our customer service and how we read meters. This will also provide more accurate bills due to the higher read rate.

How Do They Work?

With this upgraded meter, a communication module will be securely attached to the face of an existing natural gas meter. This will cause no interruptions to your gas service. Then, once a month, the module will communicate your total natural gas use securely to a vehicle driven by a trained technician. The meter read is sent via a radio signal, similar to cordless phones, baby monitors and garage door openers. This signal is encrypted for your privacy.

To make sure your bill is accurate after the communication module is installed, a meter reader will continue to walk by and read the meter for a short time.

Q: What is a communicating meter?
A: Our meters contain a module that provides two-way communications over a leading cellular network. The module sends real-time total energy use that in turn provides you with better visibility and control.

Q: Why is my bill high? Is my meter wrong?
A: Generally, these meters are more accurate than earlier analog models that required manual reads each month. If you receive a higher bill than you expected, it may be due to changes in your use due to weather or time of day, a balance on our account, billing periods with more days in the month or catch-up amounts from estimates if your meter isn't able to communicate when it is scheduled to be read.

If you’ve noticed that your bill seems higher than previous months, consider the following:
  • What’s the temperature set at on your thermostat? Is it programmed to turn down when you’re not home?
  • Are your appliances working correctly?
    • When is the last time your furnace air filter was changed?
    • Is your HVAC fan set to auto or on?
    • Has your HVAC system been inspected recently?
    • Do you have a fridge or freezer that is working overtime to keep cool?
  • Have you added anything new to your home since this time last winter?
    • Hot tub or pool?
    • Expansions?
    • New garage?
    • Extra appliance?
  • Is your home well insulated? When you stand near your doors and/or windows, do you feel cold air coming in?

Small changes in your energy use can impact your bill. Track your daily energy use online for more visibility and control.

Q: What if I don’t want a communicating meter on my home?
A: Nearly all meters have been upgraded on our system. If you’d like to opt out:

  • Electric meters: There is a one-time fee of $123.91 (if notified before installation, the one-time fee is $69.39) and a $3.00/month charge after that to cover the manual meter read.
  • Natural gas meters: Customers on Residential Service Rates A or A-1 and General Service Rates GS-1 have the option to opt-out. If you’d like to opt-out after your meter has been upgraded, there is a one-time fee of $177.53 (if notified prior to installation, the one-time fee is $109.94) and $6.03/month charge after that to cover the manual meter read.


For more information or to opt-out, please call 800-477-5050.

Q: How Do You Protect My Information?
A: Data collected from all our meters is subject to stringent data-privacy protections.

We follow the best security practices. Like protecting a computer from viruses with firewalls, we will protect customers using security tools. The meters and communications system are encrypted and equipped with security features to prevent unauthorized access.

How To Read A Meter

If you do not have an upgraded meter or if you need to provide a meter reading for any reason, learn how to read your home’s meter manually with these simple steps.

electric meter reading

How to Read An Electric Meter 

Ensure “kWh” is showing on the meter’s digital display. Record the numbers from left to right.

Email a photo that includes your meter read and meter numbers to ReportMyRead@cmsenergy.com, call us at 800-477-5050 or Submit a Meter Read through the customer portal.

Submit a Meter Read


Natural gas meter reading

How to Read a Natural Gas Meter 

Natural gas meters have four main dials. Record the numbers from left to right for each dial hand.

  • For hands in between two numbers, record the lower number but if it's between 0 and 9, use 9.
  • If the hand appears to be directly on a number, take a look at the dial to the right before recording the number.
  • If the right dial has not yet passed 0, record the lower number.

Email a photo that includes your meter read and meter numbers to ReportMyRead@cmsenergy.com, call us at 800-477-5050 or Submit a Meter Read through the customer portal.

Submit a Meter Read

What Is An Estimated Meter Read?

Common reasons for an estimated bill include system issues or equipment failure, inability to access your meter on site or your meter cannot be read remotely and is scheduled to be replaced.

We do our best to remotely or physically read your meter to ensure accuracy and replace it as quickly as possible, if needed.

If we are unable to obtain a reading, your bill will contain a message indicating your energy use and bill were estimated for the month. If your bill is estimated, the estimate will be based on past use and weather conditions.

If you know in advance that your meter is not communicating remotely but it is displaying a digital read, you may email a photo to us at ReportMyRead@cmsenergy.com or call us at 800-477-5050. If your report is received in time, we will use it to update your bill.

What If You Don't Want an Upgraded Meter?

Now you can choose a custom due date for your bill, one that works with your budget and cash flow. If you decide not to have a new meter installed, call 800-477-5050 to be enrolled in the Non-Transmitting Meter Program.

Residential Electric

Initial Charge: $69.39, one-time charge if notice is given prior to meter install or $123.91 if notice is given after the meter is installed.

Monthly Charge: $3.00/month for service.

Residential Natural Gas

Initial Charge: $109.94 one-time charge for customers on Service Rates A or A-1 and General Service Rates GS-1 if notified prior to installation or $177.53, if notice is given after the meter is installed.

Monthly Charge: $6.03/month for service.