Customer And Employee Safety The Focus Of Consumers Energy's New Meter Reading Policy

Customer And Employee Safety The Focus Of Consumers Energy's New Meter Reading
                                    Policy

PR Newswire

JACKSON, Mich., May 14, 2013

JACKSON, Mich., May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- To help keep meter readers safe
on the job and lessen the possibility of contact with aggressive dogs,
Consumers Energy has revised its policy for customers with dogs.

"We continue to see an increase in the number of dog bites to meter readers,
even by dogs that have in the past exhibited no aggressive behavior. This
required a change in our policy to help protect our employees," said Charles
Montgomery, manager of customer field services.  There are now
three meter reading codes that can be added to accounts of customers with
dogs. The codes have one common requirement – that all dogs – even those who
have previously shown no sign of aggressive behavior – be restrained or
properly contained while the Consumers Energy gas or electric meter is being
read.

Additional changes to the meter reading dog policy include:

  oCustomers who own dogs with no previous aggressive behavior must now
    restrain or contain their dog before the meter can be read.
  oAccounts identified as premises with dogs known to be aggressive must have
    the dog restrained or the meter will not be read. This includes walking
    or driving routes. Meter readers on walking routes will attempt to contact
    these customers prior to entering the premise to make sure dogs are
    restrained. For driving routes the meter reader will honk the horn and not
    exit the vehicle until verification is made that the dog is secure. In
    either situation if contact with the customer cannot be made, the meter
    will not be read.
  oCustomers with dogs that have exhibited aggressive behavior and who have
    bitten or otherwise injured an employee will only have their meter read
    with a police escort.

"The bottom line is that even the most friendly, easy-going dog can become
aggressive when a stranger enters its domain," Montgomery said. "This policy
is designed to help reduce the amount of painful injuries suffered by our
meter readers. Our employees make a promise to their families to return home
safely every day and this new policy helps strengthen that commitment to
safety," he said. 

Customers have the option of reading their own meter and sharing the
information with Consumers Energy. To obtain a meter reading schedule for your
home, go to www.consumersenergy.com. Once there, it is easy to establish or
access an eServices profile and a meter reading schedule by clicking on "My
History," then Energy Use, then on the Meter Reading Schedule tab. This
information has information about meter reading scheduled visits, so
homeowners can take appropriate action with their pets. A copy of the meter
reading schedule can also be obtained by calling the utility's toll-free
number at 1-800-477-5050.

Consumers Energy also advises its natural gas customers in the metro Detroit
area that meter readers will continue to perform field reads for these meters.
There has been some confusion because DTE Energy is in the process of
replacing its electric meters with smart meter technology that does not
require field meter reads.

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, go to:
www.ConsumersEnergy.com or join us on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan



SOURCE Consumers Energy

Website: http://www.consumersenergy.com
Contact: Media Contacts: Debra Dodd, 517/545-8711; or Roger Morgenstern,
616/530-4364