JACKSON — Record high temperatures and Michigan’s recovering economy pushed customer demand for electricity Friday to its highest level this year for Consumers Energy, and the third highest daily load ever for the 125-year utility.
Customer demand hit a peak of 8,820 megawatts between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday. That level is about 1 percent below Consumers Energy’s all-time record of 8,930 megawatts set on July 21, 2011.
John Russell, the utility’s president and CEO, praised the effort to meet the high power demand from the company’s 1.8 million electric customers.
“Our employees delivered for Michigan today during record high temperatures and lived up to our motto, ‘Count on Us,’” Russell said. “Employees provided our customers the electricity they needed. I thank our employees for their work under challenging conditions. Today’s performance underscores the importance of the capital investments we’ve made in our power plants and our electric distribution system to serve customers and improve the environment. It’s on days like today that our customers understand first-hand the value of electricity.”
Especially, perhaps, those who lost power earlier last week and thus couldn’t take part in the record demand. Said Russell of those customers: “We continue to make every effort to restore service to those customers, primarily in east Michigan, who lost power due to severe storms this week. More than 1,000 employees, in addition to out-of-state crews from Indiana and Missouri, are working to restore service to remaining customers. We thank all affected customers for their patience during this trying week.”
Finally, Russell added: “While the weather was one factor in today’s high power demand by customers, this production level also reflects Michigan’s recovering economy. Our industrial customers have increased their power demand for three consecutive years. That’s a key sign that Michigan is coming back.”
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.
For more information about Consumers Energy, visit www.consumersenergy.com.