GROVELAND TWP. (WWJ) — To enhance service to its growing natural gas customer base in Oakland County, Consumers Energy and state and local officials Friday observed the opening of its $7.5 million Groveland Service Center in Holly.

“Our promise to Michigan is to deliver the energy you need, whenever you need it,” said Consumers Energy president and CEO. “The Groveland Service Center will help Consumers Energy’s employees work more efficiently to serve our natural gas customers. We are able to make investments like this and provide reliable service while reducing our gas costs to customers by 20 percent over the last three years.”

Guests recognizing the opening of the Groveland Service Center and its importance to Oakland County included Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, Sen. David Robertson (R- Grand Blanc Township), Rep. Brad Jacobsen (R-Oxford), Rep. Joseph Graves, (R- Argentine Township), Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and other local and utility officials.

More than 200 construction jobs were created by the new Groveland Service Center, equaling about 32,900 labor hours totaled between October 2012 through June 2013. The local economy also received a boost in retail goods and services.

The building is 22,666 square feet and sits on a 20-acre site in Groveland Township. It is staffed by about 75 Consumers Energy field, maintenance, garage and office employees.

The new service center is part of a statewide 10-year building improvement plan being implemented by Consumers Energy to enhance customer service. The Groveland site was selected based on ongoing and predicted future growth of Consumers Energy’s natural gas service area as well as its existing customer base.

Approximately 114,000 Oakland County customers will be served by Groveland employees. The natural gas customer base in Oakland County is one of Consumers Energy’s largest and includes about 255,000 customers served from its Royal Oak Service Center as well as those served by Groveland. Consumers Energy has more than 1.7 million natural gas customers statewide, making it the nation’s fifth largest natural gas utility.

The new service center features a number of environmentally friendly attributes, and will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified according to environmental standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. They include the building’s architectural design, lighting, plumbing, HVAC and electrical system, materials and resources.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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