Consumers Energy Hiring Leaders, Talks Billing Investigation

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Lansing, MI - Consumers Energy is working to develop and hire the next generation of leaders.

The Jackson-based company is starting a brand new field training program, and you don't need experience in the energy field to apply.

"As long as you have demonstrated leadership, we can teach you the technical skills," says Electric Principle Field Leader Zakiya Oliver, "that is what this program is built for."

The energy company is set to train field leaders, employees who supervise electric and natural gas crews. You've probably seen field leaders outside your home, repairing downed power lines after a storm, or working on gas lines with a crew.

The program takes 12 to 18 months to complete and you will rotate through different field assignments and shadow current field leaders.

It's a one of a kind program, set to get you on the fast track.

"I'm excited to be a part of it because it is critical to the success of this company," says Oliver.

You can apply through mid-February. Click on the link in this story to apply.

Consumers Energy is also installing smart meters to give customers a more accurate bill.

The utility is under investigation right now by the Michigan Public Service Commission because of repeated complaints about billing.

Viewers on our Facebook page sounded off on the issue Wednesday, with many writing about how outrageous their bills are, and how they can fluctuate from month to month.

Terry DeDoes tells me the smart meters will fix customer's problems.

"By speeding up the deployment of our enhanced meters," says DeDoes, "this will prevent the need for meter readers to go out every month to the different homes and prevent the possibility of a meter not being read."

DeDoes says the smart meters should be installed by the end of 2017. He says the utility has already installed 900,000 meters of the 1.8 million.

Customers can check to see if they have estimated reads by looking for the "EST" on their bills. If you think your bill is wrong, give Consumers a call for a possible credit.

DeDoes says while the utility works to get an actual read each month, there are incidents where workers are prevented from doing so like dangerous dogs in the yard, or bad weather.

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