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Consumers Energy Marks Milestone as Natural Gas Crews Head East; Utility Increases its Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

   Consumers Energy Marks Milestone as Natural Gas Crews Head East; Utility
                 Increases its Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

PR Newswire

JACKSON, Mich., Nov. 5, 2012

JACKSON, Mich., Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --For the first time in its
125-year history, Consumers Energy is sending natural gas crews to assist with
storm restoration work outside of Michigan, with about 25 employees leaving
Tuesday to join more than 300 other utility employees and contractors already
providing assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

While electric line crews and other employees historically have provided
mutual assistance in parts of the United States after hurricanes and other
strong storms, the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast has
Consumers Energy dispatching natural gas teams for the first time, said
Michele Kirkland, the utility's vice president of energy operations.

Consumers Energy gas crews and support staff from across the state will leave
from Dundee, Mich. late Tuesday morning for West Hempstead, N.Y.,
approximately 30 miles east of New York City.They will be gone for up to two
weeks. Work will primarily consist of replacing damaged gas regulators and
re-lighting individual gas services in coordination with local utility
National Grid.

"The destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy has wreaked havoc not only on the
electric grid but also the natural gas distribution systems, especially in New
York and New Jersey. This is especially critical when most customers heat
their homes and businesses with natural gas and cold temperatures continue,"
Kirkland said. "National Grid reports its gas restoration work is now focused
in the New York City and Long Island areas, which is where we're headed. This
is a first for our company, and I'm proud to have our gas crews join our
electric crews to help the millions of people affected by this historic
storm."

Last Thursday, Consumers Energy sent about 35 electric line workers and
support staff to Cleveland to assist utility First Energy. An additional 15
utility employees were sent to Cleveland Saturday. With that work now
completed, the 50 employees were en route Monday to Oceanport, N.J. to assist
First Energy with restoration efforts.

Oct. 28, before Hurricane Sandy made landfall, Consumers Energy sent 14
engineering support personnel to assist First Energy's Potomac Edison Company
in Hagerstown, Md. Since arriving, the group has performed electric equipment
damage assessments in Maryland, West Virginia and currently is in New Jersey.
In addition, the utility has released 250 contract workers specializing in
electric distribution line repair and tree and debris removal to assist First
Energy and National Grid utilities.

Thirty Consumers Energy employees sent last Wednesday to assist Detroit Edison
in southeast Michigan completed their restoration work Saturday morning and
have returned to their regular work headquarters.

"I appreciate the willingness of our crews to spend an extended time away from
their homes and families to help the Hurricane Sandy victims," Kirkland said.
"These East Coast residents have now been without electric and natural gas
service for a week; the work being performed by Consumers Energy and our
contractors is vital to helping these victims get their lives back in order."

Kirkland said there are sufficient Consumers Energy staffing levels remaining
in the state as the hurricane work continues.

"While we are reaching out to assist those most affected by Hurricane Sandy,
our customers can rest assured we have adequate staffing here in Michigan to
address any issues," she said.

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 regarding Consumers Energy, visit us at
www.consumersenergy.com or join us on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan

SOURCE Consumers Energy

Website: http://www.consumersenergy.com
Contact: Roger Morgenstern, +1-616-530-4364; or Dan Bishop, +1-517-788-2395
 
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