LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Starting Wednesday, June 1, energy rates could go up for Consumers Energy customers, and residents are concerned.

So, how can you save some money during this price hike?

When it gets hot, it can cost you more to run your air conditioner. That’s because Consumers Energy’s “Summer Rate” will be enforced Monday through Friday from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Spokesman Brian Wheeler says there are many ways to save that can apply during the summer and year-round.

“Your appliances like your dishwasher, your laundry, do them in the morning or do them at night. That’s the time that the cost is lower so you can reduce your bill,” said Wheeler.

If you’re running your air conditioner, and you run it in the morning in the early afternoon, you cool down your house to the point between 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m, you use it much less.

So how much can people save?

“If you take steps to shift your energy usage, you can reduce your bill as much as five or 10 percent,” said Wheeler.

However, not all customers are seeing relief. Customer Rebecca Myszak says she hasn’t saved much on her monthly bill. It still ranges from $150 to $200 per month.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of transparency going on. And I’m just confused as to why things are so expensive just to exist in your home,” said Myszak.

The summer rate will cost customers around 1.5 times more, according to the company’s website.

Wheeler says reducing usage during this time won’t just save money, it can also save the planet.

“If people take action to move their energy usage and reduce that peak at the center of the day on those hot summer days, we don’t have to build extra power plants and that saves money for all customers,” said Wheeler.

But Myszak says after an in-home energy analysis, nothing’s really changed for her bill.

“I don’t know if I’m going to follow the rules because when I did, I still ended up paying.
I think rates, in general, are just too high,” she said.

Wheeler says there’s also the budget plan which calculates your monthly payments and usage over 12 months that’s averaged out.

Consumers Energy will make sure your monthly payment is the same price for the next 12 months. If you have a past due balance under $75, you can enroll.