Consumer's Energy http://michiganradio.org en Michigan utilities closely monitoring today's big snow storm http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-utilities-closely-monitoring-todays-big-snow-storm <p>Heavy snow is blanketing parts of Michigan that just recovered from an ice storm two weeks ago.</p><p></p><p>Hundreds of thousands of utility customers spent days, in some cases nearly two weeks, without electricity.</p><p></p><p>“At this point we’re monitoring, and ready to respond, depending on what weather may come,” says Dan Bishop, a Consumers Energy spokesman.</p><p></p><p>Statewide, utility officials are closely watching to see if weather conditions may threaten to undo the repair work done over the past few weeks.</p><p></p> Sun, 05 Jan 2014 18:32:11 +0000 Steve Carmody 15883 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan utilities closely monitoring today's big snow storm Blue Christmas for tens of thousands of Michiganders without electricity http://michiganradio.org/post/blue-christmas-tens-thousands-michiganders-without-electricity <p>About 150 thousand Michigan utility customers have spent another cold day waiting for their electricity to be restored. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Sunday’s ice storm left almost a half million Michigan homes and businesses without electricity.&nbsp;</p><p>As of midday, approximately 125,000 Consumer’s Energy customers were still without electricity.&nbsp; About 20,000 DTE Energy customers and 7,000 Lansing Board of Water &amp; Light customers were still in the dark as well.</p> Wed, 25 Dec 2013 18:42:21 +0000 Steve Carmody 15830 at http://michiganradio.org Blue Christmas for tens of thousands of Michiganders without electricity Thousands still without electricity in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/thousands-still-without-electricity-michigan <p>About 250,000 Michigan homes and businesses remain without power after a weekend ice storm that blacked out at least 482,000 homes and businesses and may have caused a Delta jetliner with 180 people on board to slide off a taxiway at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.<br /><br />The wintry blast hit Saturday night. The utilities say it will be days before most power is restored because of the difficulty of working around ice-broken lines.<br /><br />DTE Energy says 56,000 of its affected 150,000 customers were off line.<br /> Tue, 24 Dec 2013 11:54:05 +0000 The Associated Press 15816 at http://michiganradio.org Thousands still without electricity in Michigan Thousands will have to wait until after Christmas to get their electricity restored in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/thousands-will-have-wait-until-after-christmas-get-their-electricity-restored-michigan <p>It will be Saturday at least before electricity is restored to all the Michigan homes and businesses that lost power in Sunday’s ice storm.</p><p>The storm knocked out power to almost a half million Michiganders.&nbsp; About 300,000 are still waiting for their electricity to be turned back on.&nbsp;</p><p>Brian Wheeler is a Consumers Energy spokesman.&nbsp; He says about a third of the nearly 200,000 Consumers Energy customers without electricity are in Flint and Genesee County</p> Mon, 23 Dec 2013 21:34:20 +0000 Steve Carmody 15811 at http://michiganradio.org Thousands will have to wait until after Christmas to get their electricity restored in Michigan Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders are without power because of today’s ice storm. http://michiganradio.org/post/hundreds-thousands-michiganders-are-without-power-because-today-s-ice-storm <p>UPDATE 8:06pm</p> Sun, 22 Dec 2013 21:07:39 +0000 Steve Carmody & The Associated Press 15806 at http://michiganradio.org Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders are without power because of today’s ice storm. Many Michiganders are still waiting for their electricity to be turned back on http://michiganradio.org/post/many-michiganders-are-still-waiting-their-electricity-be-turned-back <p>Consumers Energy and DTE linemen return to work today hoping to restore electricity to hundreds of thousands of Michigan utility customers left in the dark by Sunday’s windstorm.</p><p>At last report, DTE says it still has about 150,000 customers waiting to have their electricity turned back on.&nbsp; &nbsp;Consumers Energy has more than 170,000 of its customers waiting for their power to be restored.</p><p>Last night was not a good time to be without electricity. Temperatures around the state dipped below the freezing mark.</p> Tue, 19 Nov 2013 10:14:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 15337 at http://michiganradio.org Many Michiganders are still waiting for their electricity to be turned back on Demolition crews bring down part of a downtown Jackson landmark, sparing another http://michiganradio.org/post/demolition-crews-bring-down-part-downtown-jackson-landmark-sparing-another <p>After days of worry, demolition crews successfully brought down part of one downtown Jackson landmark without damaging another.</p><p></p><p>Demolition crews have spent months gutting the old Consumers Energy headquarters in Jackson.</p><p></p><p>But Thursday, part of the building started leaning precariously toward a century and a half old church next door.&nbsp; First Congregational Church and other nearby buildings were evacuated as a precaution.</p><p> &nbsp;</p> Sat, 14 Sep 2013 22:21:42 +0000 Steve Carmody 14427 at http://michiganradio.org Demolition crews bring down part of a downtown Jackson landmark, sparing another In this morning's news: Wolf hunting licenses, helpful utility fee, crackdown on human trafficking http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-wolf-hunting-licenses-helpful-utility-fee-crackdown-human-trafficking <p><strong>Wolf hunting licenses may be delayed</strong></p><p>Michigan <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/strong-demand-wolf-hunting-licenses-michigan-could-delay-sale-date">wolf hunting licenses are expected to go on sale</a> Saturday. But Ed Golder, Michigan's Department of Natural Resources public information officer, says that date may not work out because of high demand. When the wolf hunting licenses do go on sale, the state will sell up to twelve-hundred of them. The hunt is limited to six counties in the Upper Peninsula. Only 43 wolves will be allowed to be killed.</p><p><strong>Energy assistance will help low-income families</strong></p><p>State regulators have approved a 99-cent monthly fee to help low-income Michigan residents pay their energy bills and avoid losing electricity, natural gas, or propane. The charge applies to all customers, starting in September, unless a utility opts out of the program. The Michigan Public Service Commission says only a few so far have declined to participate.</p><p>According to the Associated Press, if a utility opts out of the program, it can't cut off power between November and April 15th. Michigan's largest utilities, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, plan to participate.</p><p><strong>MI State Police cracking down on human trafficking</strong></p><p>Michigan State Police say 10 teenage girls forced into prostitution have been rescued as part of a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/30/us/fbi-charges-159-men-with-forcing-teenage-girls-into-prostitution.html?_r=0">national crackdown</a>. Detroit Sergeant Ed Price says the girls were removed from motels and other locations last week in Wayne, Genesee, Oakland and Macomb counties. According to the Associated Press, eighteen suspected pimps were arrested, although only one in Flint has been charged so far. The investigation is ongoing.</p><p> Tue, 30 Jul 2013 11:17:39 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13749 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Wolf hunting licenses, helpful utility fee, crackdown on human trafficking Consumers Energy moves forward on power plant plan http://michiganradio.org/post/consumers-energy-moves-forward-power-plant-plan <p>THETFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Consumers Energy is taking steps toward its planned 700-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Michigan's Genesee County.<br><br>The Jackson-based utility filed Friday for approval of a certificate of necessity with the Michigan Public Service Commission. The filing is allowed under the state's energy reform law.<br><br>Chief Executive Officer John Russell says the filing establishes the plant "is in the best long-term interests of Michigan."<br> Sat, 13 Jul 2013 12:50:58 +0000 The Associated Press 13517 at http://michiganradio.org Consumers Energy wants customers to tie up their dogs to protect meter readers http://michiganradio.org/post/consumers-energy-wants-customers-tie-their-dogs-protect-meter-readers <p>Consumers Energy meter readers may soon start making their rounds with a police escort.</p><p></p><p>The Jackson-based utility announced it is implementing a new aggressive dog policy.</p><p></p><p>Spokesman Roger Morgenstern says last year more than a dozen Consumers meter readers were attacked or threatened by dogs.</p><p></p><p>“The fact is this is the customer’s home. The customers have a right to have pets,” says Morgenstern, “So we’re hoping this would strike a right compromise.”</p><p></p><p></p> Tue, 14 May 2013 17:46:47 +0000 Steve Carmody 12560 at http://michiganradio.org Consumers Energy wants customers to tie up their dogs to protect meter readers In this morning's news: Democrats' budget, Detroit restructuring, Royal Oak explosion http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-democrats-budget-detroit-restructuring-royal-oak-explosion <p><strong>Democrats announce budget priorities</strong></p><p>State House Democrats<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-democrats-want-cut-state-pension-tax-boost-k-12-funding"> announced </a>a new set of priorities for the state budget yesterday.</p><p>“The Democrats’ plan calls for $1.5 billion in new spending on education, tax cuts for middle-class residents and seniors, and small business investments. They say they would pay for that partly by eliminating government waste and cutting corporate tax breaks,” Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Consultants recommend changes to Detroit city departments </strong></p><p>A restructuring firm hired by the city of Detroit has presented two proposals to re-shape city departments to a city-state advisory board.</p><p>“One proposal would downsize the City Council, and make its members part-time. The other suggests ways to consolidate the Police Department,” Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/restructuring-plan-targets-detroit-city-council">reports.</a></p><p><strong>Safety violations at fault for natural gas explosion in Royal Oak </strong></p><p>In a letter to state regulators, Consumers Energy said utility workers failed to follow company protocols in the lead-up to a deadly natural gas explosion in Royal Oak earlier this year.</p><p>“The utility says workers didn't follow procedures as they replaced a gas main near the house, and then left the area after smelling gas,” reports Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton.</p><p> Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:10:55 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12058 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Democrats' budget, Detroit restructuring, Royal Oak explosion What's up this morning? Levin retiring, Flint wants back taxes, Consumers explosion review http://michiganradio.org/post/whats-morning-levin-retiring-flint-wants-back-taxes-consumers-explosion-review <p><strong>U.S. Senator Carl Levin announced his retirement</strong></p><p>Saying he wants to focus on his last two years in the Senate without the distraction of a campaign, Sen. Carl Levin announced he would not seek re-election in 2014.</p><p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/carl-m-levin-d-mich/gIQA5NHW9O_topic.html">The Washington Post </a>wrote "d<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">on't let his rumpled suits or avuncular glasses fool you..."</span></p><blockquote><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Levin is ready for a fight.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The former civil-rights lawyer is famous for his deep policy knowledge - he spends more than 20 hours getting ready for hearings so he'll "know when the B.S. is flying," and he nailed George W. Bush administration officials with his precise questioning.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">As Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, Levin has spearheaded some key proposals on national security. He fought tirelessly to end the Iraq war, which he opposed from the start.</span></p></blockquote><p><strong>Flint tries to collect unpaid taxes</strong></p><p>Flint is trying to cut into a $19 million budget deficit. <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/flint-telling-people-who-havent-paid-their-city-income-tax-pay-now">Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody</a> reports the city hopes to collect on past taxes:</p><p></p><blockquote><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">To chip away at part of that, city officials plan to pressure people who haven’t paid their city income taxes for a while. The city estimates that it’s owed between $300,000 and $400,000 in unpaid income taxes for just 2010.</p></blockquote><p></p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Consumers Energy halts drilling practice after explosion</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: Tahoma, sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The Associated Press reports Consumers Energy says it has halted projects throughout Michigan that involve the same drilling method used before a deadly Detroit-area house explosion. Consumers Energy says employees and contractors are conducting a review of projects involving boring. Fifty-eight-year-old Daniel Malczynski died in the Royal Oak blast last month.</span></p><p> Fri, 08 Mar 2013 12:45:03 +0000 Mark Brush 11592 at http://michiganradio.org What's up this morning? Levin retiring, Flint wants back taxes, Consumers explosion review State officials want your input on Michigan's energy future http://michiganradio.org/post/state-officials-want-your-input-michigans-energy-future <p>In Michigan, we get more than half of our electricity from coal.&nbsp; All of that coal is imported from other states.</p><p>In a couple weeks, you’ll get a chance to weigh in on how we’ll use energy in the future.</p><p>When Governor Rick Snyder gave his&nbsp;<a href="http://www.elabs6.com/c.html?ufl=e&amp;rtr=on&amp;s=m74,15k4c,eha,8jqz,eh51,k80w,jug0" target="_blank">Special Message on Energy and the Environment</a> last fall, he said he wanted to hold forums around the state to talk about energy.</p><p> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 17:02:52 +0000 Rebecca Williams 10984 at http://michiganradio.org State officials want your input on Michigan's energy future Michigan utility sends crews to New York to help restore natural gas service http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-utility-sends-crews-new-york-help-restore-natural-gas-service <p>Michigan utilities sent hundreds of linemen to the East Coast last week to help restore electricity to areas hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.</p><p></p><p>Now Consumers Energy is sending two dozen workers to help restore natural gas service to parts of Long Island, New York.</p><p></p><p>Roger Morgenstern is a Consumers Energy spokesman.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; He says restoring natural gas service presents a very different challenge than getting the lights back on after a storm.</p><p></p> Tue, 06 Nov 2012 17:33:33 +0000 Steve Carmody 9790 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan utilities preparing for Hurricane Sandy http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-utilities-preparing-hurricane-sandy <p>Michigan utilities are making their own preparations for Hurricane Sandy.</p><p></p><p>The storm is expected to strike the East Coast later today, but the hurricane's outer bands are being felt as far west as Michigan.</p><p></p><p>“Well, right now we’re monitoring the storm….and seeing how it might impact our southeast Michigan service area,” says Scott Simon, a DE Energy spokesman.</p><p>DTE has already freed up about a hundred contract linemen to help restore electric power in the Mid-Atlantic States that are expected to take the brunt of Hurricane Sandy.</p> Mon, 29 Oct 2012 14:39:05 +0000 Steve Carmody 9671 at http://michiganradio.org Gas pipeline company proposes switch to crude oil transport http://michiganradio.org/post/gas-pipeline-company-proposes-switch-crude-oil-transport <p>A pipeline that supplies much of Michigan's natural gas could be shut down ... and converted to carry crude oil. That's sparked a number of concerns from business and government.<br><br> Natural gas is plentiful and cheap right now.<br><br> That's why a Texas company filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission -- or FERC --&nbsp; in July to shut down 770 miles of transmission lines across several states. It would either abandon them ... or eventually use the pipes to carry crude oil.<br><br> And that could affect how much a lot of people in Michigan will pay to heat their homes and businesses.<br><br> The pipeline owned by Trunkline Gas Company crosses into Branch County from Indiana. That's where Consumers Energy connects to it ... and distributes the natural gas to 45 counties in the Lower Peninsula.<br><br> Dan Bishop is a Consumers Energy spokesman. He says Consumers depends on Trunkline for 60 percent of the gas it supplies to 1.7 million customers in Michigan.</p><p> Thu, 30 Aug 2012 02:47:37 +0000 Rina Miller 8879 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan gets federal grant to prevent damage to underground pipes, power lines http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-gets-federal-grant-prevent-damage-underground-pipes-power-lines <p>Michigan will get $90,000 from the US Department of Transportation to help prevent damage to underground pipelines. The federal agency announced the grant today. It's granting $1.5 million total to 22 states. The money will support advertising efforts for <a href="http://www.missdig.net/">MISS DIG.</a></p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=5zQj5Ak44yI</p><p>"The number one cause of pipeline damage is people excavating on their own property without knowing what’s underground," said Judy Palnau, a Michigan Public Service Commission spokeswoman. The MPSC applied for the grant. Mon, 27 Aug 2012 21:08:30 +0000 Lindsey Smith 8838 at http://michiganradio.org Don't want a smart meter? You'll have to pay for privilege http://michiganradio.org/post/dont-want-smart-meter-youll-have-pay-privilege <p align="LEFT">The state&#39;s biggest electricity provider says customers who don&#39;t want a smart meter will have to pay extra for the privilege.</p><p align="LEFT">Smart meters use radio signals to allow two-way communication between a customer&#39;s residence&nbsp;and the utility.</p><p align="LEFT">The meters let utilities know immediately who has lost power, among other things.&nbsp; The company will also be able to remotely shut off power and turn it back on.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 02 Aug 2012 13:46:37 +0000 Tracy Samilton 8516 at http://michiganradio.org Don't want a smart meter? You'll have to pay for privilege A good day to sit next to an air conditioner in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/good-day-sit-next-air-conditioner-michigan <p>How hot was it today?</p><p></p><p>Hot enough for Consumers Energy to smash its all-time record for electricity demand.</p><p> Tue, 17 Jul 2012 22:04:25 +0000 Steve Carmody 8318 at http://michiganradio.org A good day to sit next to an air conditioner in Michigan Another hot day without electricity for many Michiganders http://michiganradio.org/post/another-hot-day-without-electricity-many-michiganders <p>DETROIT (AP) - Utility workers are battling high temperatures as they work to restore electricity to tens of thousands of Michigan homes and businesses without power following thunderstorms this week.<br /><br /> DTE Energy said early Saturday about 45,000 of its customers were without power, mostly in Oakland and Wayne counties. Consumers Energy reported about 23,700 of its customers without power.<br /><br /> Most of those without electricity lost service after storms late Wednesday and Thursday. DTE says most of its customers should have power back by Saturday night.<br /> Sat, 07 Jul 2012 13:59:12 +0000 The Associated Press 8180 at http://michiganradio.org