JACKSON, Mich., June 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Peace of mind in the face of unpredictable weather along with convenience and security are major benefits for Consumers Energy customers who enroll in the monthly Budget Plan.
"The Budget Plan is popular with customers because it takes the guesswork out of energy bills. You may not be able to count on Michigan weather, but you can count on the Budget Plan to keep your energy costs steady year round," said Amy Walt, Consumers Energy's executive director of customer operations. "We want to provide our customers with the tools to better manage their bills, and the Budget Plan helps avoid surprises by providing consistency."
Budget Plan participants pay an equal amount each month for natural gas and/or electric service, instead of paying more when energy usage is typically highest – during hot summer or cold winter months.
People can enroll in the Budget Plan at any time, but the best time to join is at the beginning of the plan period. For natural gas and combination gas/electric customers that is June 1 through Sept. 30. For electric customers the best time to join is Oct. 1 through May 31. Customers must be up to date on bill payments to enroll.
The monthly payment is calculated on the expected energy use for the rest of the Budget Plan year based on the service provided (natural gas, electric or combination). Energy usage is reviewed quarterly and the plan amount will be adjusted if necessary to avoid large surprises at the end of the plan when weather or usage changes significantly. At the end of the plan year, if more energy is used, the Budget Plan year-end bill will include the difference. If less energy was used, customers will pay less. Both residential and business customers can sign up for the Budget Plan.
The average residential customer Budget Plan amounts are:
- About $57 for natural gas service
- About $100 per month for electric service
"We are always working hard to keep the price of natural gas and electricity low for the customers we serve. For example, our natural gas prices are the lowest they have been in 18 years, which puts more money back into the wallets of residents and businesses," Walt said.
There are two convenient ways to join the Budget Plan:
- Customers with an online account can login at www.ConsumersEnergy.com, select Billing Options, select Budget Plan under Other Options for You, and click on Get Started
- Call Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050
Walt also noted that customers who pay their bills electronically through options such as free Auto-pay and online recurring debit and credit card payment options save postage costs and help the environment by saving paper and reducing their carbon footprint.
Customers who sign up for the e-bill option can also manage their energy account anywhere, anytime. This online option allows customers to view and pay bills, view up to 18 months of account history and is also paperless.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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SOURCE Consumers Energy