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More Michigan small businesses covered by protections and benefits

December 15, 2017

More small businesses in Michigan are now covered by updated consumer rules that give them the same protections and benefits as other nonresidential electric and natural gas customers. The Michigan Public Service Commission recently approved the rules for the utilities it regulates.

A small, nonresidential electric customer is now defined as one that uses less than 30,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year; a natural gas customer is one that uses less than 300 thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of natural gas per year. 

Protections and benefits for these customers now considered small nonresidential customers include:

  • a smaller deposit limit for utility services, 
  • protection from having to pay a deposit during the heating season, 
  • the ability to enter into payment plans and settlement agreements, 
  • the ability to attend a customer hearing to resolve a dispute, 
  • consolidation of accounts, 
  • an extended length of time to pay an estimated utility bill, and 
  • required publication of utility procedures.  

So far in 2017, the Michigan Agency for Energy’s small business specialist reports that small businesses have saved $213,000 by contacting the agency about issues like billing errors, power and reliability concerns, deposit and payment arrangements, meter concerns, some telecommunications issues and landlord issues. 

Getting help is easy: simply call toll-free: 1-800-292-9555 and ask for the small business specialist.

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