Consumers Energy peak summer rate now in effect; DTE could follow suit

If Consumers Energy provides your electricity, you'll be paying a bit more when you use it during certain periods of time this summer.

From June through September, energy will cost about 15 cents per kilowatt-hour between 2-7 p.m. and about 10 cents outside of those peak times. Consumers is trying to incentivize customers to use their air conditioners and other high-energy appliances during off-peak hours.

Consumers ran a pilot test in 2019 with 50,000 customers and said most people saved money with the peak rate model.

"We expect to see, if a customer did literally nothing, they would expect to see a $2 impact," said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, with Consumers Energy.

DTE Energy, which provides most of Metro Detroit with its power, is running a pilot with about 14,000 customers right now, using a model similar to Consumers. 

"It's a small amount of difference between peak and off-peak compared to the normal rate, but it could amount to, on average, about $10, $12 of savings a month," said Chris Lamphear, with DTE.

Tips for reducing energy usage:

  • Install a programmable or smart thermostat to control your air conditioner and save
  • Adjust your air conditioner by a degree... run it at 71 instead of 70 for example
  • Run the dishwasher and do the laundry before or after peak hours or on the weekend
  • Clean or replace your AC filters once a month for more efficient use