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RISING COSTS: DeWitt Neighbors share concerns on spikes in energy bills

Posted at 7:22 PM, Jun 12, 2024
  • Every summer, peak prices return for energy bills.
  • Neighbors across Mid-Michigan are concerned that the prices are becoming too high.
  • Video shows neighbors' concerns and Consumers Energy's tips for saving as much as you can.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

I'm your neighborhood reporter, Russell Shellberg, here in DeWitt. While temperatures rise across mid-Michigan, so are energy bills. I'm looking at why rates are going up and how our neighbors might be able to get some relief.

"I would expect my bill to stay the same or go down," said DeWitt Resident Kevin Trago.

Trago has been paying Consumers Energy for years and hasn't had a problem until recently.

"They started going wacky with this whole system, and that's when we started to experience these jumps in our monthly bill," said Trago.

While Trago was paying his bills, the amounts started to jump up over the years. Trago pays attention to the peak hours from 2-7 PM, but Consumers Energy says rates are increasing because of the need to upgrade.

"We're making really significant investments to strengthen our grid and prepare it for the weather of the future," said Tracy Wimmer, Consumer Energy's Media Relations Specialist.

Upgrades like iron poles, smart technology to better monitor outages, and undergrounding are all part of why Consumers Energy customers will see increases in their bills over the years. But for the current summer season, Wimmer says that being energy-smart is the best way to decrease your spending.

"Even a 1 to 2-degree difference can end up saving you a lot of money," said Wimmer.

Wimmer suggests keeping the windows open at night for a breeze and running a ceiling fan instead of air conditioning as great ways to keep energy costs low. These practices are what Trago invites neighbors to follow as well.

"People just really need to work on their homes and try to get them to be as energy efficient as possible," said Trago.

Wimmer says that their outreach program sends emails to customers to keep everyone informed on bill information and more. You can find more information on Consumer's tips for lower energy use here.

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Russell Shellberg

5:49 PM, Jun 03, 2022

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Russell Shellberg

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