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Consumers Energy to introduce fee for credit and debit card payments

Consumers energy truck
Consumers Energy

Starting in October, Consumers Energy residential customers will be charged an additional fee of $2.99 if they want to pay their bills with a credit or debit card.

Consumers says it wants to encourage customers to use payment methods like sending checks via mail or using a checking or savings account to pay online that don’t incur fees.

“Consumers Energy always works to keep bills fair for the Michigan homes and businesses we serve,” a statement from Consumers said.

The company says it's making these changes to help reduce the cost of energy for all customers.

According to the utility company, the new card fee is a result of changing policies by credit card companies. In the past, these companies had been charging a fee to Consumers for processing payments.

“More than two-thirds of all energy providers take this approach, as do businesses of all types,” the statement read.

The changes are expected to affect about 300,000 people out of the utility's two million residential customers. Today credit and debit card transactions make up about 35% of all residential customer transactions — a 20% increase from 2017.

Consumers is also requiring customers to put a bank account on file if they want to enroll in auto payment for bills. Credits and debit cards will no longer be accept for auto pay.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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