The completion of the five-year statewide project will allow electric customers to track their energy usage more closely online and identify ways to save energy and money.
"We've already installed more than 1.3 million electric meters and 350,000 gas communication modules, allowing our customers to use new programs and services," said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy's senior vice president of distribution and customer operations. "These upgraded meters provide a clear customer benefit, giving homes and businesses a powerful tool to better manage their energy usage."
The new meters offer customers the ability to choose their billing date, sign up and receive automated alerts when their energy use is trending higher than usual, and review their energy use by hour, day or month to identify ways to save energy and money on their energy bill.
"By the end of the year, these customers will be able to access their energy use information and sign up to take advantage of money-saving programs," Rochow said.
Consumers Energy began installing electric meters in 2012 in the Grand Rapids area. In 2015, the energy provider started adding communication modules on natural gas meters of customers who also receive electric service. Those combination customers are able to access both their hourly energy use and their daily natural gas use via the Smart Energy web portal.
Midland, Bay, Ingham and Eaton counties will begin receiving upgrades in the spring. Clinton, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella and Shiawassee counties are scheduled for summer.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal 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.