Customers raise concerns after spikes in Consumers Energy bills

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Expensive energy bills are leading to outrage for many Consumers Energy customers. The company says it's because of the bitter cold temperatures.

Roger Morgenstern at Consumers Energy says it doesn't matter if it's gas or electric, the dropping temperatures could be to blame.

The problem seems to be stretching all over the state. For some, their bills just don't make sense.

Sharlene Mosher moved into her Cedar Springs home almost a year ago, saying her Consumers Energy bill has nearly doubled since May of last year.

"The first bill was relatively cheap when we moved in but it kept going up," Mosher said. "Now our balance is $1,700."

Mosher is on the Consumers Energy Shutoff Protection Program and believes her bills are extremely high, especially since her family uses an outdoor wood burner to heat the home.

"In May, they tried blaming it on summer rates but now it doesn't make sense," Mosher said.

Dozens of customers are also voicing their concerns on social media.

Morgenstern says he's seen read frustrated reports on Facebook and is currently looking into a number of specific circumstances brought to his attention by FOX 17. Meanwhile, he says it's common to see bills go up during winter months with frigid temperatures.

"Our average cost for our gas customers is about 27 percent higher in terms of use," Morgenstern said. "Now the price of gas is lower but we’re using more of it because our furnaces are running more because it’s cold, and it’s also the same for our electric customers."

However, Morgenstern says if your bill seems too high, there is help.

"At the end of 2017 Consumers Energy provided $10 million to certain non-profits to provide assistance for customers. So there is money out there, you just have to ask." said Morgenstern.

People with questions about their bill can call 211, a free clearing-house for heating assistance. You can always call Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 . ​

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  • Carlos Enrique Rea

    We had this happen to us two years ago. Our normal bill at our cottage at houghton Lake was about $50 in the winter. We had one month when it skyrocketed to over $200. This was when the cottage was unoccupied and the heat shut down to 50 degrees with the refrigerator shut off. We complained to everyone we could including our state senator all to no avail. Consumers took the meter out for testing and gave us a new one. They continued to say there was no problem and the $200 charge was correct. It has never happened again and we are back to the $50 bills we otherwise had. We were ripped off and they never admitted anything was wrong.

  • Paul Ledford

    Our bill keeps increasing an insane amount year over year, despite no changes in usage patterns. It doesn’t make sense.

  • Janet Roberts

    We are on the Consumer budget plan for electric. In September when we have to pay everything in full our bill was only $86. Our normal budget amount was $148. We got our new budget amount was $180. I don’t understand why it went up when we didn’t go over our budget amount. Then they installed our new meter! After that our kilowatt hours have increased by over 300 per month. I’m thinking they knew everything was going up and that’s why our budget increased. I hope Consumers look into all these extra charges.

  • Christine Cornell

    Our bills have continued to go up. Only 4 years ago electric cost us on average $60 a month. Now it costs us on average $95.00 a month. Just during the last few months since our meter was installed it jumped up $10 a month. This month it went from $10 more to $70 more. And shows we used all kinds of kw power we have never used before since we moved here. We haven’t done anything different except burn a couple more lights. Lights should not cost $70.00 more per month. Yes, it was a little colder. But the highest bill we has when it was really much colder than this past month it was $135.00. Thats still $35.00 less than this month. Something is fishy and I join the rest of the people! I want it fixed, and I want my money credited back to my account!

  • Ed Kuligowski

    The explanations by Consumers are incompetent. The FACT is that the cost per MCF is higher and keeps going up because they re-arranged their costing. They claimed the cost of energy was the blame for higher cost per MCF years ago but cost of energy is down. Still no explanations why bill per MCF increase. Never an apology from Consumers even with recent incompetence managing their facilities. Other but they continue to be allowed this nonsense.

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