Consumers Energy Helping Builders Meet Growing Market for New Homes in Michigan

    Consumers Energy Helping Builders Meet Growing Market for New Homes in

150 Percent increase over past 5 years

PR Newswire

JACKSON, Mich., Aug. 4, 2014

JACKSON, Mich., Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- New home construction in Michigan
is expected to be 150 percent higher this year than in 2009. Consumers Energy
has increased its workforce and taken other steps to keep pace with rising
demand for new energy service connections.

"We've hired 200 new employees to support the new building sector, which can
have a significant impact on the entire state's economy," said Mary Palkovich,
Consumers Energy's vice president of energy delivery. "We've shortened our
turnaround time for new service orders and increased the amount of timely
communicating we do with home builders."

Consumers Energy is working closely with the Home Builders Association of
Michigan to make improvements that benefit busy construction companies. Those
companies are projected to build nearly 16,000 new Michigan homes this year,
the most since 2009.

"The folks at Consumers Energy have worked hard to listen to our members and
take action to meet new construction demand. Our mutual efforts will
facilitate more construction activity and speed the time in which homeowners
can move into their new homes," said Bob Filka, Home Builders Association of
Michigan chief executive officer. "By speeding utility service to the
construction industry they are helping build up the overall economy."

The HBA of Michigan, local associations and Consumers Energy held five summits
this year across Michigan to let home builders know about new improvements.

Consumers Energy has hired engineers to design new energy services, and job
schedulers and field crews who install new gas and electric services. Higher
volume builders are assigned a dedicated contact by the company. The HBA
Michigan will also share data about projected home construction activity with
Consumers Energy to help determine what resources are needed to support home
builders in future years.

"I am extremely appreciative of the work HBA Michigan and Consumers Energy
have done to speed the process to get the homes I build connected to
utilities," said Bob Schroeder, owner of Mayberry Homes, in Lansing. "The
quicker they make the process, the more homes I can build and the more people
I can put to work."

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.

Media toolkit

Number of new homes built in Michigan (source: Home Builders Association)

2014 (Projected) 15,900
2013             12,915
2012             10,234
2011             7,937
2010             7,755
2009             6,236
2008             8,984
2007             15,195
2006             24,782
2005             38,875
2004             45,881

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SOURCE Consumers Energy

Contact: Consumers Energy: Terry DeDoes, 517-374-2159, or Debra Dodd,
517-788-2395, Home Builders Association of Michigan: Bob Filka, 517-646-2555
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