Consumers Energy threatens power shut off at apartment complex

6:29 PM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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Hartford Terrace in Muskegon. (March 11, 2013)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- People living at a Muskegon apartment complex say they want to know why Consumers Energy is planning to shut their power off next month.

Hartford Terrace is a federally subsidized apartment center for older and low-income residents. After receiving alarming mail over the weekend, residents turned to 13 On Your Side for help.

Saturday, all 160 residents received a letter from Consumers Energy informing them that their power would be shut off April 8 because of lack of payment.

Hartford Terrace residents make rent payments to the Muskegon Housing Commission. Rent includes electricity and the complex is a singe-metered dwelling.

Monday a Consumer's Energy spokesperson confirmed the Muskegon Housing Commission's utility bill was two months behind. The debt was described as "significant." The utility's letter to residents was out of courtesy and to comply with Michigan Public Service Commission rules.

When pressed for answers off camera, a Hartford Terrace manager stated the issue was the result of a paperwork error and that an electronic payment of more than $40,000 was made Monday morning.

The manager promised the issue will never happen again. She also placed her own letter on each floor of the complex.

"Disregard the letter that we received. And that the power would not be shut off," said resident Harold Thomas. "I knew it was a mistake someplace. Everything is honkey dory."

Consumers Energy confirmed an electronic payment was sent to them Monday. The money needs to clear the bank, and if it does, Hartford Terrace's utility bill will be current.

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