Consumers Energy Named 'Environmental Champion' Among Energy Providers in Midwest

  Consumers Energy Named 'Environmental Champion' Among Energy Providers in                                    Midwest  Ranked as Third-Most Trusted in U.S. for Natural Gas, Electric Utilities  PR Newswire  JACKSON, Mich., July 17, 2014  JACKSON, Mich., July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --An independent national survey has ranked Consumers Energy as the top "environmental champion" among providers of electricity and natural gas in the Midwest.  The new survey results, released by Cogent Reports, a division of Market Strategies International, also rank Consumers Energy as the second-most trusted electric and natural gas provider in the Midwest, and third overall in the country.  "We work every day to earn the trust of the 6.5 million Michigan residents we serve. We feel honored that our customers validated that work with this respected survey, particularly in acknowledging our actions to take care of the environment," said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy's vice president of customer experience, rates and regulation.  The top ranking for environmental performance reflects Consumers Energy's environmental efforts in several areas:    oRenewable energy – Consumers Energy expects to see 10 percent of its     electricity come from renewable sources by the end of this year. That is a     year ahead of a timetable laid out by state lawmakers.     The company opened Lake Winds® Energy Park in Mason County in late 2012     and is building Cross Winds® Energy Park in Michigan's Thumb, set to open     by year's end. Additionally, it has expanded its solar energy program for     homes and businesses, and developed a program with Michigan State     University and Michigan's agricultural community to buy electricity from     anaerobic digesters.   oTransition to cleaner energy – Consumers Energy plans to retire seven     coal-fired power plants by April 2016. The company has signed an agreement     to purchase a natural gas-fired plant in its hometown of Jackson.   oImproving air quality – Michigan's air is the cleanest it has been in a     generation, thanks in part to Consumers Energy's efforts to reduce     emissions at coal-fired plants by 20 percent through 2025. The company     expects to spend $1.3 billion over a decade to improve air quality at its     power plants, and will reduce water usage at power plants by 20 percent as     of 2020.   oReducing energy usage – The company works with businesses and homeowners     all over the state every day to reduce their energy use. Michigan     residents saved $575 million through energy-efficiency programs through     2013. Learn more at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/save.  "'Leaving it better than we found it' is an expression we take to heart at Consumers Energy, and that's especially true when it comes to our environmental efforts," Poppe said. "This environmental ranking as best in the Midwest tells us that our customers recognize our work, which is an ongoing process."  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.  About the survey  Cogent Reports, a division of Market Strategies International, surveyed 19,000 customers of 125 natural gas, electricity and combination (gas and electric) providers throughout the U.S. to develop its rankings of the most trusted companies.  FULL REPORT: www.marketstrategies.com/news/2390/1/New-Research-Identifies-Trust-as-Missing-Component-for-Maximizing-Customer-Relationships-in-the-Utility-Industry.aspx  "ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPIONS" REPORT: www.marketstrategies.com/blog/2014/07/revealing-the-utility-industrys-12-environmental-champions/  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 and as updated in CMS Energy's and Consumers Energy's subsequent Forms 10-Q.  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.  Investors and others should note that CMS Energy and Consumers Energy post important financial information using the investor relations section of the CMS Energy website, www.cmsenergy.com and Securities and Exchange Commission filings.  SOURCE Consumers Energy  Website: http://www.consumersenergy.com Contact: Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Dan Bishop, 517-788-2395  
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