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Did your Consumers bill suddenly go up without explanation? Here's why and how to fix it

The utility said billing issues, which could affect as many as 90,000 customers, were tied to its transition to a new meter system.

MICHIGAN, USA — Messages continue to pour in to the 13 Help Team following our report about billing errors tied to Consumer's Energy smart meters.

Earlier this week, a viewer contacted us after the utility company charged him upward of $700 in a single month.

13 ON YOUR SIDE reached out to the company, which prompted Consumers to address the issue, replacing the customer’s meter the following day and crediting his account.

The utility suggested its ongoing transition from 3G to 5G electric meters was largely responsible for the confusion.

As of Thursday, approximately 90,000 meters had yet to be replaced, a delay the company said was tied to supply chain issues.

If a customer suspects they may be affected or has noticed inexplicable discrepancies in invoices or account statements, Consumers advised contacting its customer service department via telephone at 1(800) 477-5050.

It also provided an email address customers can utilize to send photos of their actual meter readings: ReportMyRead@cmsenergy.com.

In a statement sent to 13 OYS via email Thursday, the utility explained further:

"We strive to have estimated bills match actual energy use. Variables such as weather can affect current use compared to past use, and we understand any frustration as bill amounts can change.  We encourage customers to call us if they have questions, need assistance, or need to set up a payment arrangement that works for them. Customers who are receiving estimated bills will have that noted on their bill. If their meter is displaying a digital read, they can send a photo of it to ReportMyRead@cmsenergy.com and we will update your bill. We understand this can be an inconvenience and appreciate our customers' patience as we work as quickly as possible to upgrade their meters."

For more information, Consumers Energy has posted a blog about how bills are estimated: Hey, Consumers Energy! Why was my bill estimated last month? | Force4Michigan

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