Michigan sees late spring heat wave, higher energy costs

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:07 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan’s spring heat is bringing higher temperatures and higher energy costs.

Beginning Thursday, June 1, utility providers are starting their summer rates, which will last until the end of September.

Read: Mid-Michigan utility providers begin summer rates

The change is part of a new pricing system required by all Michigan utility companies, meaning it will be more expensive to use electricity during the afternoon and early evening hours to encourage people to cut back on energy usage.

“Be safe, be comfortable in your home,” said Brian Wheeler, with Consumers Energy. “You are going to have to use your air conditioning when it’s 90 degrees outside, and that’s OK.”

Stopping your dishwasher, turning your thermostat down and closing your blinds. Energy companies said these three small changes can make a big difference on your energy bill this summer.

“The average residential customer uses about 576 kilowatt-hours of energy a month. Now that the first 500 kilowatt-hours doesn’t matter what day of the year, any of the 365 days a year is going to cost you the same exact amount of money. So, it doesn’t matter if that’s on June 1st or in December, it’s still going to be the same, that rate never changes,” said Amy Adamy, with Lansing Board of Light and Water. “What does change is once you cross into 501 kilowatt-hours, so going back to our average customer, the increase of 76 kilowatt-hours is going to be about 15 cents of an increase difference from June 1st through the end of September.”

This change causes electricity use between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to be more expensive for Consumers Energy customers and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for DTE customers.

Energy companies recommend not using as much energy during peak hours.

“Oftentimes people will think that means we’re encouraging them to maybe turn off their air conditioning, and we’re not saying that at all. What we’re saying is think about those things you can do that are more optional, that you can move elsewhere in the day,” Wheeler said. “When it comes to your air conditioning, for example, we often talk about pre-cooling your home. If you can run your air conditioner in the morning, it’s going to be more efficient, it’s going to cool your home faster, and really hold you through the day.”

Consumers Energy said the electricity rate during the summer is about 1.5 times higher than the “off-peak” rate price.

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