JACKSON, Mich., May 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 700 workers are currently at work across Michigan clearing trees away from electric lines for Consumers Energy, part of the company's commitment to delivering electricity safely and reliably.
"We know from experience that fallen branches and limbs are a major source of power outages," said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy delivery. "We work in all conditions to keep trees away from lines, which improves the likelihood that lights will stay on for homes and businesses when nature is at its worst during severe storms."
Consumers Energy spent more than $40 million on forestry statewide last year. The energy provider plans projects with an eye toward improving reliability -- based on which of its 2,000 electric circuits are most affected by tree-related outages.
Consumers Energy communicates tree-trimming plans to residents and business owners well in advance of the actual work. Planners walk circuits where work is scheduled, talking to people in person or leaving contact information, and marking trees that will be trimmed. Letters also are mailed in advance to all homeowners and businesses along circuits where work will take place.
Consumers Energy works to make the public aware of their important role in keeping trees away from power lines. The company promotes the Arbor Day Foundation's "The Right Tree in the Right Place" campaign, which aims to build awareness of planting the proper trees near electric lines.
No trees should ever be planted under high-voltage transmission lines, which transmit electricity across the state. Only certain trees should be planted under distribution lines – the power lines that serve communities and households. Learn more at www.arborday.org/trees/righttreeandplace/.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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LEARN MORE: Learn more about Consumers Energy's forestry work: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/forestry.
VIDEO: Watch a video that explains Consumers Energy's tree-trimming work: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-XKQgKBYW0
QUESTIONS: Call 1-800-477-5050 if you have questions about forestry work where you live.
Consumers Energy is collaborating with Michigan International Speedway this year to plant 50,000 trees across the state. The white pine trees were split among all 78 conservation districts throughout Michigan. Learn more: www.consumersenergy.com/News.aspx?id=7907&year=2015
SOURCE Consumers Energy