Introducing the Summer Time of Use Rate
Michigan’s economy is growing, and with growth comes increased opportunity for all of us. At Consumers Energy, we are here to power that growth and ensure a vibrant future – all while protecting the environment we love. One way we’re doing that is through our new summer Time of Use rate – a statewide effort that will:
What is this New Rate?
With increased demand comes an increase in cost. That’s why on weekdays from 2 pm to 7 pm, June to September, electric rates will be higher – and we’ll be encouraging you to take advantage of lower cost energy available at other times of day.
With this new rate, when you use electricity will be just as important as how much you use.
Why Was This New Rate Created?
Because of our growing economy, more people and businesses are running energy-intensive equipment like air conditioning units in the summer, placing a higher demand on the electric grid during weekdays between 2 pm and 7 pm. The summer Time of Use rate is a way to manage demand, plan for future economic growth and protect our environment – all while keeping control in the hands of our customers.
Benefits of the New Rate:
When Will it Begin?
This June, we will begin automatically moving residential customers to the new summer Time of Use rate. If you are scheduled to change, we will notify you months in advance. To help with the change, we will send you a package of information, including ideas on how you can shift energy use and save money.
All residential customers will move to the summer Time of Use rate by June 1, 2020.
In April, a new rate comparison tool will be available so you can see how the rate change will specifically impact your bill and help you find opportunities to save. Make sure you create a Consumers Energy Account if you don’t already have one.
Yes. Starting in February 2019, the first phase of residential electric customers on the summer Time of Use rate will begin receiving information about how to prepare for the new rate that goes into effect in June 2019.
Between 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays (Monday-Friday) in the summer months of June 1 through September 30, the standard rate for electricity will be higher than other times of day. This replaces our standard inverted block rate from June to September, which charged a higher rate when customers used over 600kwH per month.
In the next few months, an online bill impact tool and other tips will be available to help you estimate your costs. Based on what we know today, the average customer will see less than a $4 change to their monthly summer bill. However, if you’re able to shift your electricity use to periods of low demand, you can lower your costs.
All residential electric customers will be on the new rate in 2020. Select zip codes were chosen as the first phase of customers to transition to the new rate in 2019. If you are on the new rate, you likely received some type of communication from Consumers Energy. If you don't remember seeing communications and you're curious, most customers that have electric service in one of the following zip codes and were on the standard rate (1000) are likely on the new rate (1001). Beginning with your June statement, the back of your bill will also show "Rate Code: 1001" if you are on the new electric rate.
The summer Time of Use rate will be in effect on June 3, 2019 (first weekday of June) and continue through September 30, 2019 for customers in the first transition phase. In 2020, the new summer Time of Use rate will be effective for all electric residential customers starting June 1 through September 30.
Electric prices during this period of high demand will be approximately 1.5 times higher than the price of electricity during off-peak periods. The actual rates will be $0.143752/kWh on weekdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and $0.096781/kWh for all other times of the day. The new summer Time of Use rate replaces the current standard summer rate that charges an increased price when customers use more than 600kwH per month.
Managing your energy use during periods of high demand (or peak time periods) does not require extreme measures such as shutting off your AC completely, not watching television, or sitting in the dark. Understanding which home devices use lower amounts of energy can help you better manage your behaviors throughout the day and allow you to take small steps to lower your energy use and bill. See below for a list of devices and appliances that typically use the most energy (starting with the highest consumers):
As temperatures rise in the summer, so does the demand on the electric grid. With increased demand comes an increase in cost. That’s why on weekdays from 2 pm to 7 pm, June to September, electric rates will be higher – and we encourage you to take advantage of lower-cost energy available at other times of day.
There are many programs and tools available to you to help prepare for the transition. Some examples include:
You will be charged a flat rate (the same structure as today) for all other months; October to May.
All customers on the standard residential rate (RS1000) will transition to the new summer Time of Use rate. Most businesses are not on the residential rate, and therefore will not be included. However, businesses that are currently on the RS1000 rate will transition to the new rate (RS1001). You can check your monthly billing statement to see if your account(s) is on this rate.
An introduction letter was sent in February to notify customers in the selected zip codes about which accounts are impacted. Only the accounts noted in the letter and on the rate calculator are impacted by the new rate. All remaining eligible accounts will be automatically moved to the rate in 2020.
Yes. If you are still an electric customer with Consumers Energy, you will have the summer Time of Use rate at your new home.
The devices that use the most energy in a typical month during the summer are window or central AC cooling systems, electric water heaters, dishwashers, and clothes washers & dryers.