MPSC Gas Customer Choice Program: Consumers Energy Company
On October 24, 2000 in Case Number U-12680, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved a permanent gas customer choice program for Consumers Energy Company's natural gas customers, effective April 1, 2001.
The gas customer choice program gives all customers the option to obtain natural gas from an alternative gas supplier of their choice. This means that you, as a residential or business customer have the ability to choose a new supplier. Consumers Energy will still continue to provide gas distribution service by delivering your gas to your home or business.
If you do not wish to switch to a new supplier your gas service will continue to be provided by Consumers Energy and the price of your gas supply will be regulated by the MPSC. If you wish to switch to a new supplier the price you pay for your gas supply will be the price the supplier offers and is not regulated by the MPSC.
If you choose to participate in the gas customer choice program you may return to the utility at any time. If you switch back to Consumers Energy after participating in the gas customer choice program you are required to remain a Consumers Energy sales customer for 12 months before you can choose a new supplier.
- Contact participating Suppliers from list of licensed suppliers
- Customer Choice Tariff (from rate book)
- Gas Customer Choice Tariff Orderfrom U-15929
- Contact Consumers at 800-477-5050 or visit their web site.
- Order, Press Release
- Participation Status program statistics
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is eligible to participate in Consumers' Customer Choice program?
All residential and business customers who are in good standing with Consumers are eligible to participate. Participation in the program is strictly voluntary.
- If I am on the Budget Plan, can I participate?
Yes. Nothing will change with regards to your budget plan.
- What if I do not wish to switch to a new supplier?
That is your choice. If you choose to remain a sales customer of Consumers Energy the price that you pay for your gas supply will be determined by the MPSC. See current rates.
- How do I sign up with a new supplier?
You can sign up via telephone, online or in person. You will need to provide your name, address and Consumers Energy POD number if you want to sign up with the new supplier. This number is located on your bill. Your new supplier will then send the information to Consumers. To avoid unauthorized switching, do not disclose specific account/POD information if you do not want to be switched to a new supplier.
- Is there a sign up period?
No. You may enroll at any time.
- How can I find out which suppliers are participating in the program?
See Supplier/Marketer Contacts page for a list of suppliers that are licensed with the MPSC.
- How long will it take to switch to a new supplier?
Approximately 1-2 billing periods.
- Can I switch from one supplier to another?
Yes, you can switch to another supplier at any time. However, be sure to ask your current supplier if there is a fee for early termination. When you enroll with a new supplier you will automatically be canceled with your old supplier and may be responsible for an early termination fee at that time. You can switch back to Consumers Energy sales service at any time, but must remain with them for the following 12 months. Consumers may charge a $10 switching fee if you change suppliers more than once in a 12 month period.
- How do I cancel my contract?
You must contact the supplier to cancel your contract but please be aware of any early termination fees that may apply. The MPSC does not regulate the supplier and therefore cannot cancel or change contracts.
- Do I have to pay a fee if I switch suppliers?
There is no fee for your original enrollment and you are also allowed to switch once each year without a fee. There is a $10.00 utility fee for each additional switch.
- Does the MPSC regulate the rates of the suppliers participating in the program?
No, the rates offered by suppliers are not regulated or approved by the MPSC. It is up to you to determine if a supplier meets your needs. Be sure you understand the terms of the contract and the price you will pay. If you have questions or problems concerning your gas supply, you must contact the supplier. See Supplier/Marketer Contacts page.
- Who will deliver the gas to my home?
Consumers Energy will continue to deliver gas to your home. You will not need a new service line or meter if you choose a new supplier. Your delivery (distribution) cost and monthly customer charge are the same as a Consumers Energy sales customer.
- If I choose an alternative supplier to purchase gas on my behalf, do I pay my utility any charges?
Yes, you would pay the utility delivery charges that you have always paid. These charges consist of the Monthly Customer Charge and the Distribution Charge. The amount you agree to pay your alternative supplier for the gas they purchased for you will be billed and collected by Consumers Energy and Consumers Energy will pay your supplier.
- Will I continue to pay sales tax on my entire bill if I switch suppliers?
Yes. If you are a residential customer your bill will include a 4% sales tax rate on the total bill. If you are a business customer, the rate is 6%.
- Who do I call if I smell gas?
If you smell gas, have a service emergency or have a billing dispute you will still call Consumers Energy for help.
- Who do I call if I have a billing dispute?
Consumers Energy will continue to read your meter and send you a bill for their delivery service and the gas you purchased from your supplier. Call your supplier if you have any questions concerning your gas charges. If you have questions concerning your customer charge or distribution charges, you will still call Consumers Energy.
- What can I do if I can't get my problem resolved through Consumers Energy or the supplier?
If you have not received a satisfactory response from your gas utility or your new supplier, inquire or complain to the staff of the MPSC (at www.Michigan.gov/mpsc under Consumer Information).