Consumers Energy site shows powerless getting juice

Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If there’s an upside to losing your power, it’s that at least your bill will be lower.

But some customers who use Consumers Energy’s online usage tool have received an unwelcome surprise over the last few days: It’s a graph showing they’ve been using power even while they’re in the dark.

“Rest assured you are not being charged for the day you were out,” Consumers Energy spokesman Roger Morgenstern promised.

So what gives? Morgenstern says the site in question is a tool for customers to measure and compare their usage. But it’s based on averages, not actual usage numbers. Actual usage is calculated by a different system, and that’s the one that spits out your monthly bill.

“It’s two different systems,” Morgenstern said. “One of them is the customer service and there’s a little bit of information on our website, but a lot of people probably don’t see that because they go to the chart and they see energy use. It’s just an estimating tool. But it is completely separate from how we calculate your bill.”

Morgenstern said Consumers is working on tweaking the estimate tool to make it more accurate.

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