Residential Standard FAQs
Generally speaking, your rate is divided into three parts: Major investments that generate and deliver energy, operating expenses including fuel for power plants and activities related to maintenance, repair, service and billing.
Learn more about how we calculate your rates
If you're on the Standard plan, you pay the same regardless of the time of day, or day of the week. If you're interested in a plan that varies according to when you use most energy, you may want to consider a Peak Power Savers plan, which allows you to save if you can limit using power on summer weekdays by shifting your energy use to the evenings or weekends.
You pay the same rate whether you're using energy at 2 p.m. or 2 a.m. This plan is ideal if you prefer convenience and comfort. Compare all of our plans to see which one works best for you.
The Standard power rate varies by season. It tends to be lower in winter (October through May), and higher in the summer (June through September) when heat and air conditioning use are at peak demand.
A higher bill reflects the amount of energy your home consumed. Some months, like June through September, you'll typically use more energy. You may also have paid an increased rate if your monthly energy use exceeded 600 kWh for the monthly bill you're concerned about.
Learn more about all the plans and programs we offer
Time of Use plan FAQs
They’re new, voluntary plans that reward you for using less energy when energy demand and costs are at their highest. Unlike the Residential Standard plan, where you’re charged a fixed fee per kWh of electricity used, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Time of Use plans offer different electrical rates in different months, on different days of the week and at different times of day.
Yes! By raising the temperature set point of your thermostat during on-peak hours, you can easily reduce your energy use and take advantage of Time of Use pricing. A programmable thermostat can help make this an effortless process.
Don’t think Time of Use is for you? No problem. With a central air conditioner, you’re also eligible for our AC Peak Cycling plan, which can provide hassle-free savings. Learn more about our AC Peak Cycling plan.
Electricity costs significantly more to provide during peak demand times – typically business days from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the summer, on hot, humid days when AC use is highest. Conversely, our electricity costs drop during nights and weekends when demand is lower. The Time of Use plans reflect these varying costs and allow you the opportunity to significantly lower your costs by moving your energy use to times when costs are low — particularly on Energy Savings Days.
Energy Savings Days are select days in the summer where, if you are on the Peak Rewards plan, you can earn extra savings by reducing your energy use. Up to 14 times a year, on days when electricity demand is highest, Consumers Energy will schedule an Energy Savings Day 24 hours in advance. Customers with a Time of Use plan will receive notification of these days by text, email, or phone, and will be prompted to reduce energy use from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Customers on the Peak Rewards plan will save money if they reduce their energy use during this time, while customers on the Critical Peak plan will pay a significantly higher rate for energy use. In either case, reducing energy use during an Energy Savings Day period will help keep your bill as low as possible.
You can easily save money by making a few simple changes to your daily energy use. Raising the set point on your thermostat and delaying the use of electric-intensive appliances during on-peak hours are good starting points. Try washing and drying clothes and running the dishwasher and window air conditioners at off-peak times. Other appliances that can use a lot of energy are dehumidifiers, electric ovens and electrically heated or pumped water. You can also install programmable timers to automatically shift the run time of some appliances.
Peak Rewards is the best fit if you’re unsure how much you can change your electric usage, or whether you can participate in Energy Savings Days, as it has no commitment or risk for Energy Savings Day participation. For more aggressive savings, Peak Savers offers even lower rates than Peak Rewards most of the time. However, Peak Savers customers will pay electric costs about eight times higher compared to Peak Rewards from 2 to 6 p.m. on Energy Savings Days. Peak Savers works best for customers confident they can reduce, or already have low, peak time use (2 to 6 p.m.) on Energy Savings Days.
Signing up for a Time of Use plan is voluntary, but you must commit to a minimum of 12 months.
Your new plan will take effect on the first day of your new billing cycle after enrolling. For example, if you enroll June 15 and your billing cycle begins on July 2, your new plan will take effect July 2.
Air Conditioner Savings Program FAQs
The AC Peak Cycling Device is installed on your home, near your outside air conditioning unit. During a limited number of peak demand periods, Consumers Energy will activate the device, which will allow us to reduce your unit’s cycling run time by 50%. This is referred to as a “cycling event.” During cycling events, your air conditioning system’s fan will continue to circulate air throughout your home, keeping it comfortable. After the period of peak demand has passed, the AC Peak Cycling Device will trigger your system to automatically resume normal operation.
Peak demand refers to periods of exceptionally high energy demand. These periods typically occur during the summer months, when air conditioning use increases significantly. Using energy wisely during times of peak demand reduces stress on the electric grid and makes the electricity delivery system more reliable.
Most customers report minimal changes in temperature. Potential temperature change during cycling events depends on a variety of factors, including the temperature outside and the home’s insulation.
Electricity costs increase during periods of peak demand, and local or regional capacity challenges can also occur when central air conditioning use is at its highest. The Air Conditioner Savings plan is a way that you can voluntarily assist with keeping electricity reliable and affordable for all. Reducing electricity use during peak periods offsets the need to purchase and generate additional electricity.
The Air Conditioner Savings program is voluntary, but you must commit to a minimum of 12 months.
Cycling events typically occur on non-holiday weekdays between noon and 8 p.m. but events could occur at any time in the case of an electric emergency. These events will take place from June through September and typically last between four and eight hours.
There are 3 small lights on your AC Peak Cycling device. Below is a guide to what each light indicates:
● Your AC Peak Cycling Device will be installed in the next six weeks.
● You will receive a courtesy notification before your AC Peak Cycling device is installed.
● You do not need to be home during the installation of your device.
● You will receive a Visa® Gift Card six to eight weeks after installation.
● Your monthly bill credits of $7.84 will start this summer.
Plug-in Electric Vehicle Plan FAQs
At this time, there are no utility, state or federal incentives for public charging stations. Spring 2019 will see the launch of PowerMIDrive, an electric vehicle charging program that includes charger rebates for both residential and business customers.
No, we can only work on the utility side of the meter, providing the necessary service to the house. A licensed electrician should be consulted for the electrical work.