Michigan Homes, Businesses Save $575 Million Through Consumers Energy's Energy Efficiency Programs

Michigan Homes, Businesses Save $575 Million Through Consumers Energy's Energy                              Efficiency Programs  PR Newswire  JACKSON, Mich., Feb. 6, 2014  JACKSON, Mich., Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan homes and businesses have saved $575 million through 2013 by taking advantage of Consumers Energy's energy efficiency programs, lowering their natural gas and electric bills, and providing a boost to the state's economic recovery.  "Michigan residents are using our energy efficiency programs to manage their bills. It's a powerful tool to free up money for household budgets, especially during a cold winter like this one," said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy's vice president of customer operations and quality.  "Put the $575 million in energy efficiency savings in perspective: This is enough to power 450,000 homes with electricity and heat 180,000 homes with natural gas for a year. Just as valuable, energy efficiency provides homes and businesses with savings that continue year after year."  Consumers Energy's energy efficiency programs were launched in 2009. People can receive rebates in more than 200 ways, from efficient lighting to HVAC tune-ups, with savings typically lasting 10 years beyond the equipment's installation.  Rochow noted the appliance recycling program is having a positive impact on environmental sustainability and job creation. More than 80,000 refrigerators and freezers have been recycled, avoiding carbon dioxide emissions equal to the operation of 150,000 cars per year.  A look at some of Consumers Energy's energy efficiency programs in 2013:    oPeople bought more than 3 million energy-efficient light bulbs from 404     retail stores in Michigan.   oMore than 29,000 appliances were recycled. In September, Consumers Energy     recycled its 75,000^th refrigerator since the recycling program began.   oConsumers Energy paid $1.86 million in rebates to homeowners who upgraded     to more energy-efficient insulation and windows.   oAnalysts performed 14,000 Home Energy Analyses, installing more than     300,000 energy-saving measures and giving people tools to manage their     energy bills.  Energy efficiency also creates Michigan jobs, primarily through trade allies. Consumers Energy works with 2,100 Michigan-based energy efficiency contractors that provide customers with information about energy efficiency rebates and equipment. The trade allies have primary businesses in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, windows, insulation, appliances, lighting, builders and as architects.  "We are a Michigan-based company that wants Michigan to succeed. Energy efficiency not only has a strong positive impact on homes and businesses, but it also puts residents to work as part of our commitment to Pure Michigan Business Connect," Rochow said.  For people looking for low and no-cost ways to save, Consumers Energy's free monthly Energy Solutions email newsletter provides tips, tricks of the trade and updates on the newest and best in the world of energy efficiency. Sign up for the newsletter at www.ConsumersEnergy.com.  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.  For more information about Consumers Energy, visit us at www.ConsumersEnergy.com, or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan.  Media toolkit  LEARN MORE: How Consumers Energy's energy efficiency programs help Michigan homes and businesses manage energy usage: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/save.  HELPING SCHOOLS: Midland school district receives $126,000 energy efficiency rebate: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/News.aspx?id=6969&year=2014  ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR THOSE IN NEED: People who sign up for Consumers Energy's CARE program through February will receive energy efficiency upgrades. Learn more: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/assistance.  SOURCE Consumers Energy  Website: http://www.consumersenergy.com Contact: Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Dan Bishop, 517-788-2395