New Meter Technology Saves Consumers Energy & Money
Michigan households served by Consumers Energy can now use the power of new upgraded meters to lower their energy costs and help the environment by reducing energy use during key times throughout the year.
Customers are now able to enroll in Consumers Energy's new Peak Power Savers program, which provides options to lower their bills. Residential customers can sign up for rates that reward them with discounts for shifting their energy use to off-peak times or can allow their air conditioning units to be briefly cycled at certain times to save money.
"We are committed to helping Michigan households manage their energy use. These new programs give more options to our residential customers to lower bills and are another great benefit of new upgraded meters that we will finish installing across the state this year," said Lisa DeLacy, Consumers Energy's executive director of smart energy.
Consumers Energy's new program focuses on reducing energy use at certain times and on certain days when the demand for energy is exceptionally high. These are typically hot summer days when the cost to supply and deliver energy is typically much higher due to residential air conditioning.
Consumers Energy and other energy providers have to build power plants or secure contracts to ensure power is available during these high-demand periods. That's an expensive necessity for resources that will be used only a few times a year. Peak Power Savers is a lower-cost alternative to building new power plants.
The voluntary programs from which households can choose are:
- Air Conditioner Peak Cycling -- Consumers Energy will install an AC cycling device on or near your central air conditioner. Typically, on the hottest days of the year, Consumers Energy will cycle your air conditioner for short durations. Your AC unit's fan will continue to run, keeping your home comfortable. Your cooling system will return to normal when the cycling event ends. Most customers report little to no difference in their comfort level. Customers who participate in the program will receive a gift card for signing up and a credit on their energy bill during the summer months of June through September.
- Peak Rewards Time of Use – Customers pay a lower rate during off-peak hours every day and can save even more on the days when energy use is expected to be extremely high – typically on the hottest days of summer. These are called Energy Savings Days. If customers use less energy than they typically do during those peak hours on these days, they will receive a bill credit. There is no penalty if they do not use less energy -- they simply pay the standard rate for the energy used during those hours.
- Critical Peak Time of Use – For customers who want to maximize their savings, this option allows them to enjoy even lower rates throughout the year, with higher rates only for energy used during peak demand times on Energy Savings Days. Customers that keep energy use low during peak demand on these select days will receive the greatest savings.
Consumers Energy will have installed new meters across Michigan by the end of 2017, allowing customers to track energy use more closely, providing more accurate readings and identifying more ways to save energy and money.