JACKSON, Mich., Sept. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As a late-season record heat wave finally breaks across Michigan today, Consumers Energy's residential customers have voluntarily saved enough energy this summer to power more than 40,000 homes.
Since January, more than 33,000 residential customers have signed up for two different volunteer Peak Power Savers "demand response" programs on days with high electric use. The programs involve cycling off air conditioning units or shifting energy use away from the peak demand times of 2 to 6 p.m. The Peak Power Savers programs began June 1 and end Saturday.
"These programs financially benefit our residential customers while also providing a strong and reliable power delivery network for the state of Michigan," said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy's vice president of customer experience.
Peak Power Savers is composed of two programs:
- Air Conditioner Peak Cycling: This is the larger program, with more than 22,000 customers enrolled. It involves Consumers Energy cycling off a central air conditioning compressor for short periods of time, using technology enabled by upgraded electric meters. Participating customers receive a nearly $8 monthly credit on their electric bill through the summer, plus a $25 gift card at sign-up.
- Peak Rewards and Critical Peak: These two "time of use" programs enrolled more than 11,000 customers this year. Customers are notified in advance of a peak use day and can lower their bills if they decrease their electric use between 2 and 6 p.m., such as by earning bill credits.
Through Tuesday, Consumers Energy initiated Peak Power Savers programs on 14 different days during the summer, including four in the last week, as record heat and humidity settled into Michigan. Data from the "event days" is still being collected and analyzed. Initial estimates indicate on each of the days, the estimated amount of electric capacity saved is equivalent to powering more than 3,000 typical residential Michigan homes.
Demand response programs like Peak Power Savers are environmentally friendly, cost-competitive alternatives to building new power plants or securing contracts to meet peak energy demand.
Consumers Energy is still analyzing data from both the residential and a similar program for business customers, but the initial feedback has been positive, Youngdahl Snyder said. "Our customers have embraced these new savings program options and we look forward to even more participation, and building stronger relationships with our customers, in 2018."
Consumers Energy customers can enroll or learn more about these programs at www.PeakPowerSavers.com or by calling 877-789-9883.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 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.
BY THE NUMBERS:
22,500: Residential customers signed up for Air Conditioner Peak Cycling.
11,250: Residential customers signed up for two different time-of-use programs.
14: "Event days" initiated by Consumers Energy since June 1.
Consumers Energy residential customers with upgraded meters can enroll in Peak Power Savers: www.PeakPowerSavers.com
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SOURCE Consumers Energy