Tools for Understanding Your Consumers Energy bill, Monthly Use Graph and 6 Reasons for a High Bill

You finish a long day of work, pick up the kids, scurry home to make dinner and before you know it, you’re falling asleep to Dancing with the Stars. Sitting down to study your energy bill isn’t top priority—we get it.

Energy-Bill-ExampleTherefore, we put together a quick guide to help you understand your energy use so you can explore options to save money every month.  How to read your Consumers Energy bill

Electric Residential Service

Electricity rates are based on a Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR) charge, which can cause your electric rate to vary from month-to-month. The Michigan Public Service Commission authorizes these charges. This section on your bill describes:

  • Current rate
  • Energy used
  • Meter reading

The 13-month graph in this section explains the amount of electricity you used and its cost per day in kilowatt-hours. Explanation of monthly electric charges

Gas Residential Service

Gas rates are based on a Gas Cost Recovery (GCR) charge, which accounts for the cost of the gas fuel Consumers Energy purchases. This charge varies month-to-month because the GCR prices often fluctuate. The Michigan Public Service Commission authorizes these charges. This section of your bill describes:

  • Current rate
  • Energy used
  • Meter reading

The 13-month graph in this section explains gas used and its cost per day in cubic feet. Explanation of natural gas monthly charges

It’s important to note in both electricity and gas charges:

  • Point of Delivery (POD) is only used for energy choice
  • The cost of gas and electric commodity and its distribution appear separately

6 Reasons You may have a Higher Bill

The first step to saving money is to understand why your bill may be higher one month. Six reasons include:

  1. Days in a billing month A few days more or less than the typical 30 could impact your bill.
  2. Summer appliance use Cooling systems, dehumidifiers, pool pumps/heaters, additional refrigerators, plasma TVs and hot tubs increase energy use.
  3. Actual vs. estimated meter read Frequent switches between actual and estimated meter reads may increase inaccuracy.
  4. Change in lifestyle A new baby, working from home, adding another person in the house and other life changes may increase energy use.
  5. Rate changes PSCR and GCR rates may fluctuate and affect your energy bill.
  6. Seasonal rates The cost of electricity is higher in the summer because of the demand for cooling systems. Colder days also increase energy use because your furnace will work harder.