Consumers Energy’s $100M Effort Boosts Electrical Reliability


Consumers Energy announced Monday it spent $100 million last year that resulted in 100,000 fewer power interruptions for its electric customers when compared to the year before.

“Our goal is to continually decrease the number and length of customer interruptions,” says Mary Palkovich, vice president of energy delivery for Consumers Energy. “Advances in technology are certainly a great help in improving electric reliability.”

The Jackson-based utility is also expanding its use of high-tech communications equipment to better track power flow and remotely operate equipment, which reduces the need to send employees out to manually operate equipment within one of Consumers Energy’s 1,200 substations, ultimately reducing the duration of power outages.

Palkovich say the company has invested $400 million in reliability improvement efforts over the last five years.

In addition, Consumers Energy is testing the installation of custom-fitted covers on equipment inside electric substations to prevent animals, such as squirrels and raccoons, from coming into contact with electrical equipment and causing power outages.

Consumers Energy, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy and providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.