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Heat Wave Pushes Electric Demand To Consumers’ Highest Ever

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JACKSON — Punishing heat and humidity pushed customer demand for electricity on Thursday to its highest level in the 125-year history of Consumers Energy.

Peak customer demand hit 8,887 megawatts between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday.  That eclipses the previous record of 8,883 megawatts set on Aug. 1, 2006.

John Russell, the utility’s president and CEO, thanked the company’s 1.8 million electric customers for their positive response to Consumers Energy’s requests to conserve power on Thursday.

“Our customers understood that the power system in Michigan and across the Midwest was being challenged Thursday by extremely high electric demand,” Russell said. “We thank them for acting on our requests to conserve power. Every customer who reduced their use of electricity on Thursday helped to maintain the stability of the power system. I have no doubt that the record customer demand for electricity — the highest in our company’s 125-year history — would have been even higher without the cooperation of our customers.”

Russell said the Consumers Energy system performed well during the heat wave, especially on Thursday, when customers needed it most.

“We work hard every day to provide our customers with a good energy value and having safe and reliable service is the focus of our work,” Russell said. “We make substantial investments in our electric infrastructure on an ongoing basis so customers will have the power they need every day and especially on high demand days, such as Thursday.”

Russell noted that the customer demand for electricity has returned to its long-term pattern of steady growth after a dip caused by the recent recession.

“A reliable supply of affordable electricity is a necessity in today’s modern society. You can’t have a strong economy without it,” Russell said. “Michigan’s economy is emerging from the recession and as the state’s economy recovers, we expect to see customer demand for electricity rise. We’re making significant investments today to build the electric system that Michigan will need in the future to power its economic growth.”

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.

More at www.consumersenergy.com.

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