Spread Cheer Affordably With Holiday Lights And Keep The Season Joyful With These Safety Tips

 Spread Cheer Affordably With Holiday Lights And Keep The Season Joyful With
                              These Safety Tips

PR Newswire

JACKSON, Mich., Dec. 17, 2012

JACKSON, Mich., Dec. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy is reminding
customers that displaying decorative lights is a cost-effective way to create
a festive atmosphere during the holidays and to keep the season joyful by
keeping safety in mind.

"Holidaylights are a very affordable way for our customers to add cheer to
businesses and neighborhoods during this special time of year," said Michele
Kirkland, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy operations. "Providing
affordable energy is our promise to Michigan."

It costs about 7 cents to keep 300 icicle lights on forfour hours and about 5
cents to light a Christmas tree with 200 miniature lights for four hours. At
12 cents per night, a month of holiday cheer with these indoor and outdoor
decorations costs about $3.60.

Additional savings are found with LED lights which are growing in popularity
and use more than 80 percent less electricity than standard light strings.
Consumers Energy's Energy Efficiency Program has been offering special pricing
for LED holiday lights during December at participating Home Depot, ACO
Hardware and Costco stores.

Consumers Energy estimates that approximately 6 percent of its December
residential and commercial electrical load can be attributed to the holiday
season. Electric demand in December increases from businesses and shopping
malls, which install special lighting displays and extend shopping hours, as
well as for residential holiday lights.

The electric load attributed to the holiday season equals 135 gigawatt-hours,
enough power to serve a community of approximately 255,000 customers for a
week, or to light 1.35 billion 100-watt light bulbs for one hour.

Tips from the Michigan Fire Marshal for staying safe during the holidays

  oChoose a fresh Christmas tree and water it frequently. Place the tree in a
    stand that will not tip over and keep the tree away from heat sources and
  oKeep burning candles away from decorations and other materials that can
    catch fire. Do not leave children unattended in a room with lighted
  oNever leave the stove unattended while cooking, and turn pot handles
    inward on the stove and out of children's reach.
  oMake sure the fireplace flue is open before starting a fire, and never
    burn wrappings or a Christmas tree in the fireplace.
  oHave at least one working smoke alarm on each level of your home,
    especially near sleeping areas.
  oAlways keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE:
CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to nearly 6.8 million of Michigan's
10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information regarding Consumers Energy, access our website at:
www.consumersenergy.com or join us on Facebook at

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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