They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the “This is My Michigan” online photo contest, your picture could be worth $1,000. But you have to hurry, the contest ends June 3.
To celebrate the state we live and work in, the Consumers Energy Green Generation team is sponsoring the statewide contest for its residential and business customers 13 years or older. A total of 20 prizes will be awarded, including a Michigan vacation; nine $1,000 Gift of Energy cards, and ten $1,000 ENERGY STAR® appliance gift cards.
From sunsets and coastlines to backyards and bonfires, show us what you love about our great state. You can even submit pictures from your smartphone or Facebook account. Register today at www.ThisIsMyMichigan.com.
“At Consumers Energy, part of building a sustainable energy future for Michigan includes supporting the communities we serve in big ways and small, and this contest does just that,” said Green Generation Program Manager Thomas Shirilla.
What you need to you know about the contest:
- Photo entries from Michigan residents 13 years and older can be uploaded online at: www.ThisIsMyMichigan.com through June 3.
- Consumers Energy’s Green Generation program will plant one tree for every completed contest registration, up to 5,000 trees.
- Consumers Energy customers who register on the website, complete trivia questions and vote will be eligible to win additional prizes.
- June 4-10 the top 10 finalists will be selected based on creativity, quality of submission and best fit to theme.
- Public voting from June 11 through July 8 will help determine the Grand Prize photo winner, which will be announced on July 12.
Consumers Energy’s Green Generation program helps reduce dependence on traditional energy sources and preserves our natural resources for future generations. Supply for the Green Generation program is Michigan-made, with renewable energy supply coming from wind and landfill gas sources. Green Generation was launched in 2005, and currently has nearly 17,000 customers enrolled in the program. For more information go to www.greengeneration.com.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off )
Spectacular Michigan sunsets. Breathtaking views of the Great Lakes. Camping and bonfires with family and friends. Enjoying one of Michigan’s premier golf courses. Consumers Energy wants you to show us your Michigan by sharing a photo of what you love about our Great State. You could win big in the “This is My Michigan” Green Generation photo contest from May 1 through June 3.
“This creative photo contest is a win-win for all,” said Tom Shirilla, Consumers Energy Green Generation program manager. “Participants can win great prizes and promote the beauty of the Great Lakes State by sharing their favorite Michigan image or moment, while Consumers Energy will support the community by planting a tree for the first 5,000 registrations.”
Details of the contest include the following:
Photo entries from Michigan residents 13 years and older can be uploaded
online at: www.ThisIsMyMichigan.com from May 1 through June 3.
Consumers Energy’s Green Generation program will plant one tree for every
completed contest registration, up to 5,000 trees.
A total of 20 prizes will be awarded, including a Michigan vacation; $1,000 Gift
of Energy cards, and $1,000 ENERGY STAR appliance gift cards.
Those Consumers Energy customers who register on the website, complete
trivia questions and vote will be eligible to win prizes.
June 4-10 the top 10 finalists will be selected based on creativity, quality of
submission and best fit to theme.
Public voting from June 11 through July 8 will help determine the Grand Prize
photo winner, which will be announced July 12.
“At Consumers Energy, part of building a sustainable energy future for Michigan includes supporting the communities we serve in big ways and small, and this contest does just that,” added Shirilla.
Consumers Energy’s Green Generation program helps reduce dependence on traditional energy sources and preserves our natural resources for future generations. Supply for the Green Generation program is Michigan-made, with renewable energy coming from wind and landfill gas sources. Green Generation was launched in 2005, and currently has nearly 17,000 customers enrolled in the program. For more information go to www.greengeneration.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off )
Solar projects planned by 13 residential customers have been selected to move forward as part of Consumers Energy’s ongoing implementation of Michigan’s energy reform law.
The random-selection process for these qualified applicants is part of the utility’s Experimental Advanced Renewable Program. The program provides for the long-term purchase of renewable energy generated by solar energy systems owned by the utility’s electric customers.
Residential customer-initiated solar projects in 10 Lower Peninsula counties were selected during this phase of the program. The residential customer projects will be located in the following counties: Arenac, Benzie, Calhoun, Genesee, Hillsdale, Jackson, Leelanau, Montcalm, Ogemaw and Saginaw. The customer-owned projects range in electricity capacity from 1 kilowatt to 20 kilowatts.
Consumers Energy will also be conducting an information session on April 2, 2013 at Grand Valley State University for anyone interested in learning about customer-installed solar energy systems. The session will be held at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon. The session is free of charge, open to the public and will take place from 5:30 PM until 8:30 PM.
Speakers during the session will provide information on how customers can install their own solar energy systems as part of Consumers Energy’s Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP), enabled by Michigan’s energy reform law. Reservations for this session and information about the program are available at http://www.consumersenergy.com/EARP.
This session will begin two new phases of the program and will begin accepting applications from electric non-residential and residential customers on April 1, 2013. Applications will be due May 8, 2013.
Consumers Energy’s program currently has contracts in place to purchase renewable energy from 181 customer-owned solar generators as part of the utility’s renewable energy plan.
More information on the Experimental Advanced Renewable Program is available at: http://www.consumersenergy.com/EARPRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off )
Consumers Energy is pleased to announce plans to build a major new natural gas-fired power plant in Genesee County to help meet the ongoing and future electricity needs of customers. The company will invest about $750 million to build this 700-megawatt power plant in Thetford Township, about 20 miles northeast of Flint.
Building this plant is consistent with the company’s Balanced Energy Initiative, a comprehensive plan to meet the energy needs of customers over the next 20 years. Vast new supplies of natural gas have pushed down prices and they are expected to stay low for the long term. That makes building this plant one of the most economical and environmentally responsible ways to provide value and electricity to our customers in the future.
It also helps us fulfill our promise to Michigan and our customers to provide families and businesses with the energy and energy infrastructure they need in the future. John Russell, the president and chief executive officer of Consumers Energy, said the estimated $750 million investment in the proposed plant would be in addition to the $6.5 billion that the company previously announced that it planned to invest in its utility operations through 2017.
“We’re making substantial investments to serve customers and improve the environment while aggressively managing our costs,” Russell said. “Even with this new power plant investment, we plan to hold our average base rate increases at or below the rate of inflation for the next five years.” He added that customers are seeing direct benefits, such as increased electric system reliability, from the investments.
Consumers Energy owns the 272-acre site, which is already home to nine smaller natural-gas fired combustion turbine units. There is also enough land to build a second, similar size unit at a later date, and we are evaluating this option. The Thetford site was selected primarily because high-volume gas pipelines and high-voltage power transmission lines necessary for the plant’s operation are readily accessible.
The plant would use state-of-the-art technology to help meet the future energy needs of customers in an environmentally responsible manner. The project is expected to create about 600 construction jobs, most of which will most likely be filled by members of skilled trade unions. Once the new plant is running, it will add about 30 operating jobs.
The company has taken the first step toward construction and filed an air permit application Dec. 14 with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The application is for a permit that covers two combined cycle units at the Thetford site, allowing us to build a second unit at a later date if we choose.
Once all approvals are obtained, construction on the first unit would start in 2015 and begin serving 1.8 million electric customers in 2017. At 700 megawatts the proposed plant would be able to serve a community of about 445,000 customers.
Russell also said that Michigan’s 2008 energy law put a comprehensive energy policy in place that gives Consumers Energy and other utilities the financial certainty and regulatory structure that they need to make major investments that create jobs and boost the state’s economy.
“Michigan has a forward-looking energy policy that is designed to provide families and businesses with the energy and the energy infrastructure they need in the future,” he said. “Our plan to invest $6.5 billion in our utility, plus another $750 million for this new power plant in Thetford Township, shows that policy is working.”Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off )
Lake Winds is Consumers Energy’s first wind park and has a generating capacity of 100 megawatts. It consists of 56 wind-generation turbines, all located in Riverton and Summit townships in Mason County. The utility’s investment in Lake Winds was made possible by Michigan’s landmark energy reform law.
“Consumers Energy thanks Mason County and area governmental officials in particular, for making today’s ‘start-up’ possible. Construction of Lake Winds honored our company’s commitments to safety and good communication with area residents,” said Bill Schoenlein, manager of hydro and renewable generation for Consumers Energy. White Construction Inc. was the lead contractor for the Lake Winds facility. More information on Lake Winds is available at www.lakewindsenergypark.com
Consumers Energy is the largest supplier of renewable energy in Michigan. The utility is on track to meet a requirement in Michigan’s energy law that by 2015,10 percent of the electricity it provides to its 1.8 million electric customers will come from renewable sources in the state.
“Completion of this project puts Consumers Energy on its way to meeting the 2015 requirement. The addition of Lake Winds to the company’s portfolio of renewable sources increases its renewable supply to 7 percent of retail sales. The completion of other projects under development will increase our renewable supply to 8 percent by the end of 2012,” said David Ronk, Consumers Energy’s director for transactions and resource planning.
For more information about Consumers Energy, visit www.consumersenergy.com/newgenerationRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off )
The Grand Vision has brought together more than 12,000 citizens who care about the quality of life in Northwest Michigan. One of the outcomes of this work has been the creation of the Grand Vision Energy Network comprised of individuals, businesses, non-profits, and local units of government that are currently working toward developing a regional energy plan.
Please help guide a shared energy future by completing the survey…in just 12 minutes. To thank you for your time, The Grand Vision Energy Network offers you the option of entering a sweepstakes to win a Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa Season Ski or Golf Pass.
To complete the survey, please visit
The main goal of the Energy Network can be summed up in one word – education. The aim is to educate the citizens of northwest lower Michigan on a wide variety of energy topics so they can make informed decisions about the region’s energy future and their own personal energy choices. Energy is responsible for our quality of life in Michigan and these issues affect every one of us. The Energy Network consistently offers a chance for people to involve and educate themselves on these issues through meetings, outreach and other events.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off )
Employees at the Five Channels Hydroelectric Dam near Mio recently won the grand prize in Consumers Energy’s companywide “Ethics in Action” awards program that recognizes groups of employees who collectively display the highest commitment to compliance and ethical standards.
Five Channels management and several employees were honored at an Oct. 18 ceremony in East Lansing. The facility also earned the opportunity to select a local nonprofit organization to receive a $5,000 grant from the company.
“Giving back is a major component of what it means to function as a highly ethical company,” said David Mengebier, chief compliance officer for Consumers Energy and its parent company, CMS Energy.
The Five Channels dam, which began operating on the Au Sable River in 1912, contributes to Consumers Energy’s renewable energy portfolio by generating up to 6,000 kilowatts of electricity. This hydro is named for the nearby location on the Au Sable River where there were once five distinct river channels. The site of the workers’ camp built to support construction of the dam was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 13, 2002. It is an early American example of incorporating worker safety and health provisions into construction site living, drawing heavily on lessons learned in the building of the Panama Canal.
In addition to the Five Channels facility, Consumers Energy honored two facilities — the North Kent (Sparta) and Macomb (Clinton Twp.) service centers — as runners-up. Those facilities will identify local nonprofit organizations to receive $1,000 grants. Nine individual CMS Energy employees also were recognized.
“It’s critical to recognize employees whose decisions — often under difficult circumstances — help promote a strong culture of ethics and compliance,” said Mengebier. “Their courage and integrity embody the values that have served our company well for the past 125 years.”
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.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off )
Artwork submitted by students from across the state is featured in the company’s annual safety calendar.
We extend many thanks to the students and schools that participated and submitted more than 2,000 drawings for consideration. We truly appreciate local schools inviting us to share our free education programs with students and teachers. We look forward to working with you in the future. For details, please contact us at education@ConsumersEnergy.com.
Download a copy of the calendar and check out our other activities such as safety coloring templates, treasure hunt, energy word puzzles and online games. Check out Brain Station at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/kids.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off )
Just last week, two men were arrested in Jackson for allegedly trying to steal copper from Consumers Energy. See MLive article
Copper wire theft is an illegal and dangerous problem throughout the country and Michigan. Coming in contact with live power lines and transformers, thieves put themselves at risk of serious injury or death and being the cause of electrical failures or outages throughout neighborhoods.
Consumers Energy offers up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the theft of copper, vandalism, tampering or trespassing at an electric substation or service center. If you have information leading to the arrest of copper thieves, please call the Consumers Energy Security Command Center at 1-800-760-3295. Your information will remain confidential.
Learn more about energy theft, copper theft and identity theft at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/theftstop.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off )
A message from David Mengebier, Senior Vice President of Governmental and Public Affairs and Chief Compliance Officer:
Amid the noise surrounding the fast-approaching Nov. 6 general election, messages can get muddled.
You might have seen television commercials opposing Proposal 3, the ballot proposal that would amend Michigan’s constitution and require the state to draw 25 percent of its electric supply from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2025.
As part of a broad-based coalition formed to fight Proposal 3, Consumers Energy helps fund those ads because it opposes this harmful proposal. At the same time, perhaps you’ve seen or heard us publicly tout our efforts to supply customers with more renewable energy.
Logically, you may wonder: Does Consumers Energy support renewable energy or not? We do!
Let me be clear: Renewable energy is good for Michigan in the right places and in the right increments.
But we oppose Proposal 3.
Let me tell you why:
- The cost burden is too heavy for our customers. They would pay an estimated $12 billion to meet this mandate, driving up bills for years to come.
- Michigan already has a reasonable, affordable 10 percent renewable energy goal. Consumers Energy, the state’s largest supplier of renewable energy at 5 percent, is on track to meet that mark, in large part because of the two wind farms we’re developing. Our state should reach the 10 percent standard before reassessing its future energy needs.
- The constitution is the wrong place for this mandate. Locking it into the constitution would eliminate the flexibility to meet unforeseen challenges and changes in the state’s energy market.
Proposal 3 isn’t realistic or reasonable. Unfortunately, it’s nothing more than a thinly disguised political campaign mounted by out-of-state special interests groups to advance their national policy agenda at the expense of Michigan electric customers. In fact, according to campaign finance reports filed with Michigan’s Secretary of State, nearly 90 percent of the money to advocate for Proposal 3 comes from outside our state.
That’s why I plan to vote NO on Proposal 3. I hope you will do the same and encourage your friends and neighbors to oppose Proposal 3.
In roughly one month, the election noise will die down. Until then, please remember: Consumers Energy supports renewable energy BUT we oppose Proposal 3.
We’re far from alone. The company is part of Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE) for Michigan, which also includes the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan State Utility Workers Council and many others.
to join the CARE coalition as an individual. That’s where you also can find the latest news about Proposal 3, get help writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper, and get involved in the campaign against the measure.
Paid for with regulated funds by Consumers Energy Company, One Energy Plaza, Jackson, MI 49201. Consumers Energy Company customer funds are not being used to oppose Proposal 3.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( Comments Off )
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