Consumers Energy

Reporters and activists have been piecing together information on a couple of political organizations funded by Consumer's Energy. Those organizations have been targeting politicians who support opening up the energy market in Michigan. 

Consumers Energy wants to stop buying renewable energy from outside sources.

Under the federal Public Utilities Regulator Policy Act (PURPA), state regulators can encourage more renewable energy by requiring utilities to purchase electricity generated by solar, wind, biomass, or other renewable sources at the same rate it would cost the utility to make it.

That helps Michigan to be less dependent on fossil fuels, and supports development of renewable energy sources.

Consumers Energy plans to become more environmentally friendly – while keeping customer bills stable.

The company rolled out its “Clean Energy Breakthrough Goal” Monday. It plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 80 percent and use zero coal by 2040. The company also plans to have more than 40 percent of its energy come from renewable sources and energy storage by that same deadline.

“In the past, people believed that we had to choose between affordable and clean energy,” said Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe. “We don’t subscribe to that sucker’s choice.”

Most of us don't think about how much electricity costs at different times of the day. But the state's two largest utilities are planning to change that.

When it's really, really hot and humid out, what do lots of people do when they get home? They turn on, or turn up, the air conditioning.

There are big spikes in electricity demand on the hottest summer days, between 2:00 in the afternoon to 7:00 in the evening.

DTE Energy

Ten years ago, Michigan’s residential electricity rates were below the national average. That is not true anymore.

Today, Michigan’s ratepayers have the highest rates in the Midwest, and the price per kilowatt hour could get even higher this year.   

Last month, we heard from an advocate for customers in Michigan, but today we hear from one of the state’s largest utilities about why prices go up.

David Mengebier is vice president of governmental, regulatory and public affairs for Consumers Energy.

Peter Payette

Plans for wind farms along the coast of Lake Michigan had people up in arms from Benzie County to Mason County a few years ago. One did get built near Ludington, and the county is still working through the difficulties of living with it.

Windmills have been spinning in Mason County since late 2012. There are more than 50, owned by Consumers Energy. There is still a sharp debate about the impact they have, but there are also signs people have warmed up to the towering machines.

Mason County is not ready for another wind farm, at least not in 2014. County commissioners Tuesday extended their resolution to keep the number of wind turbines at 56 for one more year.

The Lake Winds Energy Park south of Ludington is the source of ongoing disputes. The county says Consumers Energy is violating noise ordinances and needs to address the problem. Consumers challenged those conclusions at a hearing last week. Meanwhile, some neighbors are suing the energy company.