More than 1 million Consumers Energy customers who have received new electric meters can now choose their own billing date.
"Offering our customers a payment option that fits their schedule is just one way we're striving to find new and innovative ways to provide value to our customers," said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy's senior vice president of distribution and customer operations.
The upgraded electric meters send daily energy use information to Consumers Energy, enhancing billing accuracy through the elimination of estimated meter reads and providing customers with access to their energy use information online.
By logging on at the utility's website, customers can click on a button to choose a billing date, sign up to receive automated alerts when their energy use is trending higher than usual, and review their energy use by hour, day or month to predict their bills before they arrive.
As part of the electric meter upgrade, Consumers Energy is installing communication modules on 600,000 natural gas meters of customers who also receive electric service, allowing remote meter reads of gas meters through the electric meters, which will also eliminate estimated meter reads for their natural gas.
Installations continue in Battle Creek, Prudenville, Rose City and Flint, and will begin this fall in Adrian, Bronson, South Monroe, Jackson, Saginaw and Tawas.
"Consumers Energy is committed to building a smarter, more reliable energy infrastructure, and our meter technology is just one of the investments we're making in Michigan's energy future," Rochow said.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is a unit of CMS Energy, providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.