Some customers concerned over high Consumers Energy bills

Some customers concerned over high Consumers Energy bills

High heating bill this winter? You're not alone, and here's why.

Consumers Energy says it has received thousands of calls from customers all over the state the last couple of weeks, concerned about higher than normal bills.

April Sandberg lives at Ridge 45 Apartments in Grand Traverse County.

She's lived in the single bedroom apartment since April and says her average bill from Consumers is around $100.

Her most recent bill however came out at just under $400.

"I have lived in Traverse City for 8 years," said Sandberg. "I've experienced colder winters and have had lower bills than this even for older homes with horrible insulation. My bill has never been this expensive. So something just doesn't seem right."

Consumers says that while Sandberg isn't alone in her frustrations, the dollar amount is not a mistake.

They say the higher bills are due to a much colder winter this year compared to last, and a slightly longer bill period.

"Because of all these calls we have been checking," said Roger Morgenstern, a spokesperson for Consumers Energy. "We feel the meters on our customers homes are accurate. If a customer believes there may be an operational issue, they can call us and we will come and test the meter for free. "

Sandberg says she's heard about these higher bills from other tenants in her apartment complex.

She spoke with staff there last week who had Consumers come and check the meters. They say consumers reported that everything was working properly.

Consumers says that because of the weather, customer average monthly gas use is 25% higher this winter compared to last winter.

They say the average cost for gas is similar to last year, but it did go up slightly, by 0.9%.

Consumers says the cost for electric also went up, but did not have those figures available yet.

Some customers can receive help with their bills by calling 2-1-1 or learn more about payment arrangements by calling 800-477-5050.

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