Consumers Energy delivers: record amount of energy used by 1.8 million customers this summer

JACKSON, Mich., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Consumers Energy’s 1.8 million electric customers used more energy this summer than at any time in the company’s 125-year history.

Michigan’s rebounding economy and high temperatures drove customer power demand to several new all-time records.

At the same time, Consumers Energy’s customers experienced a high level of reliability. During the 2012 peak load day, there were 62 percent fewer heat-related customer outages compared to the record peak load day in 2006, and 22 percent fewer heat-related outages compared to the record peak load day in 2011.  This improved performance was a result of the company’s ongoing investments in its distribution system.

“It was the hard work of thousands of employees, combined with our substantial investments to improve our energy delivery system, that enabled us to provide excellent customer service,” said John Russell, president and chief executive officer for Consumers Energy.

All-time electric records set this summer on Consumers Energy’s system include:

— Highest hourly customer demand peak:  9,006 megawatts set on July 17.  That customer demand peak surpassed the previous mark, set in July 2011, by 1 percent.

— Highest electric sendout for any month:  4.6 million megawatt-hours set during July.  Customer demand for electricity in July shattered the previous monthly record, set in July 2011, by 6.5 percent.

Consumers Energy has invested $640 million in its electric system over the past five years.  Those investments include rebuilding 117 miles of high-voltage distribution lines, increasing the capacity of a number of distribution substations, and other work to improve the performance of its low-voltage distribution system.  Consumers Energy plans to invest about $155 million in its electric system this year to help it meet growing customer demand and make ongoing reliability improvements.

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.