Consumers Energy is accelerating its plan to provide updated electric meters to homes and businesses across Michigan. By the end of 2017 — two years earlier than scheduled originally — 1.8 million electric meters will be updated along with 600,000 natural gas meters for customers who also have Consumers Energy electric service.
“Our high customer satisfaction and growing customer interest in the benefits of the new meters are moving us to speed up our original schedule. We started updating meters in West Michigan and we will be in multiple regions simultaneously around the state by mid-year 2015,” said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer operations and quality. “It’s an important initiative with tremendous benefits. We’re using technology to provide energy that works smarter for our customers.”
More than 275,000 West Michigan residents and small business owners have received upgraded meters since summer 2012. Their daily energy use information is sent through the cellular telephone network to Consumers Energy, enhancing billing accuracy and virtually eliminating the need for physical meter reads. Business customers will also gain access to online energy use data that can help them better manage their energy consumption
“Advanced meter technology will enable us to broaden future program opportunities for business customers who can benefit from time-of-use pricing,” said Rochow, “as well as help them tailor their electrical equipment needs around money-saving programs.”
In 2016, Consumers Energy will launch its enhanced outage management system, using immediate outage notifications from the new meters to more effectively start repairs during storms. Customers will also be able to choose their own billing dates in the future and take advantage of other energy-saving programs.