Consumers Energy Invests in New Technologies to Deliver Reliable Electricity

 Consumers Energy Invests in New Technologies to Deliver Reliable Electricity

PR Newswire

JACKSON, Mich., June 30, 2014

JACKSON, Mich., June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy is making use
of the latest technologies to improve customer electric reliability, from new
covers on equipment inside electric substations that keep animals away to
modern communication devices that quickly locate outages.

"Our Promise to Michigan is delivering the energy you need whenever you need
it," said Mary Palkovich, the company's vice president of energy delivery.
"This continued investment in electric reliability upgrades using the best
tools and technology available in our industry has already resulted in fewer
and shorter power outages."

Consumers Energy spent more than $100 million to improve electric reliability
in 2013. Investment in this area of nearly $400 million over the past five
years has improved electric reliability, with some 100,000 fewer customer
interruptions in 2013 compared to 2012, excluding major storms.

Examples of reliability projects underway or being studied include:

  oInstalling custom-fitted covers on equipment inside electric substations,
    where power voltage is stepped down and then delivered to nearby homes and
    businesses. These are currently being tested in the Flint area. The covers
    prevent animals, such as squirrels and raccoons, from coming into contact
    with electrical equipment and causing power outages. Consumers Energy has
    already taken steps around substation perimeters to keep out animals. Data
    shows a 50 percent reduction in animal-caused substation outages in the
    six-month period of January through June from 2012 to 2014.
  oUsing additional high-tech communications equipment to track power flow
    and remotely operate equipment. This equipment is being expanded beyond
    Consumers Energy's high-voltage power system to its low-voltage
    distribution system. The improvements enable system control personnel to
    monitor power within a substation and to remotely operate equipment. In
    many cases, this reduces the need to send employees out to manually
    operate equipment within one of Consumers Energy's 1,200 substations,
    reducing the duration of power outages. These improvements are being made
    on both new and rebuilt substations. Work is ongoing across Michigan this
    summer. Among the scheduled July projects are several substations in
    Muskegon, Jackson, Gratiot and Isabella counties. This new technology,
    along with power distribution automation work between the substation and
    customers, is expected to eventually combine with smart meter data to
    detect electric interruptions at a customer's home or business, further
    reducing the time to restore power.

"Our goal is to continually decrease the number and length of customer
interruptions," Palkovich said. "Advances in technology are certainly a great
help in improving electric reliability."

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of
CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million
of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com,
join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ConsumersEnergyMichigan and follow us
on Twitter www.twitter.com/ConsumersEnergy.

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in Rule
3b-6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 175 of the Securities Act of
1933, and relevant legal decisions. The forward-looking statements are subject
to risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements should be
considered in the context of the risk and other factors detailed from time to
time in CMS Energy's and Consumers Energy's Securities and Exchange Commission
filings. Forward-looking statements should be read in conjunction with
"FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION" and "RISK FACTORS" sections of
CMS Energy's Form 10-K and Consumers Energy's Form 10-K each for the year
ended December 31, 2013.

CMS Energy's and Consumers Energy's "FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND
INFORMATION" and "RISK FACTORS" sections are incorporated herein by reference
and discuss important factors that could cause CMS Energy's and Consumers
Energy's results to differ materially from those anticipated in such
statements.

SOURCE Consumers Energy

Website: http://www.consumersenergy.com
Contact: Roger Morgenstern, 616-530-4364 or Terry DeDoes, 517-374-2159
 
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