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Consumers Energy under scrutiny for alleged malfunctioning meters, overcharging customers

lineman in a cherry picker adjusting wires near a house, there's ice-covered branches out of focus in the foreground
Consumers Energy

The Michigan Public Service Commission is asking Consumers Energy to show why it shouldn’t face fines over possible instances of overcharging customers and malfunctioning natural gas meters.

The state public service commission sent a show-cause order to Consumers Energy on Tuesday asking it to respond to claims of inaccurate billing and readings.

The commission said it’s received several complaints from customers who received unusually high bills as the utility was upgrading its meters from 3G to 4G cellular service meters. The MPSC claims Consumers was using estimates to charge customers when their meters were malfunctioning and couldn't be read.

Customers have claimed they faced delays in having equipment installed for new service.

Those potential issues could be violation of the state’s rules and subject Consumers to a fine.

Officials have been investigating inaccurate meter complaints since July. Under the current order, Consumers has until mid-November to show why it shouldn’t be held accountable for the service issues.

A pre-hearing on the order is set for December 4th.

A spokesperson for the public service commission declined to comment as the investigation is ongoing.

In a statement, the utility said it is reviewing the order and “remains committed to doing right by its customers.”

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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