Consumers Energy Gameplan
Last year we announced our Reliability Roadmap – a guide to how we will improve our reliability and deliver two big goals to our customers:
- No single outage affects more than 100,000 customers.
- All customers have power restored within 24 hours after an outage event.
While we are making progress, we will not achieve these goals overnight or even this year – in fact they are long-term goals that will take multiple years, and many big and small wins along the way. And when we do reach the goals, it will be like winning the big game – you know, the one many of us will watch this weekend but cannot be said due to copyright rules. Anyway…
Our reliability roadmap is comparable to the journey teams take to get to the big game. NFL teams compete in 17 regular season games, and up to 3 championship games before securing a spot in the big game. There are wins and losses. There is constant work to improve, to be better, to be faster, to be more reliable.
Like in a football game, we spend a lot of time preparing but we don’t always know what we’re up against, until we’re in it. In the middle of the storm, despite our preparation, sometimes we find weak spots. While we make adjustments in the moment, when possible, it’ not always something we can get corrected before the next game. Still, we’re always looking for ways to improve, and once those weak spots are identified, we make a plan to implement improvements.
At Consumers Energy, our season games are the upgrades we’re making and “wins” we’re getting as we move down our reliability roadmap. And unlike a football team, we’re excited to share our game plan. So let’s talk about what the wins look like for the Consumers team and for you:
Infrastructure upgrades: We’re making investments to replace or rebuild poles, replace substations, bury powerlines and organize circuits more efficiently to ensure fewer customers are impacted by outages.
Forestry management: Traditional tree trimming is still the most effective way to prevent and shorten power outages and improve system reliability. We are significantly increasing spending to keep distribution lines clear and your power on.
Grid modernization: Smart meters, sensors and automation devices are working together to help us monitor our system more effectively, optimize power delivery and solve problems faster, often before you notice.
Equity and Environmental Justice: We will continue to weigh how different communities experience reliability and resiliency. This year we will be making more investments in the electric grid, starting with upgrades in disadvantaged communities, helped by a $100 million federal commitment.
When you’re watching the big game this weekend, you’ll hear about the impressive stats from the game or even the season. There will be talk of rushing yards, passing yards, passing touchdowns, defensive interceptions, sacks and more.
Our team might not be tracking rushing yards or sacks, but we did a put a lot of points on the board last year, and came away with impressive stats from 2023:
- Nearly 9 in 10 customers who lost power were restored in less than 24 hours.
- Added smart technology including nearly 100 Automatic Transfer Reclosers (ATRs) that help limit the number and length of power outages.
And many efforts are continuing into this year:
- Carrying out 150 major upgrades across Lower Peninsula communities.
- Clearing tree branches from over 7,000 miles of power lines, addressing the No. 1 cause of power outages in Michigan.
- Upgrading, rebuilding and expanding over 100 substations.
And that brings us to one big difference between an NFL team and your local energy company. We don’t get bye weeks and we definitely don’t have an off-season. You can Count On Us every day to deliver the safe and reliable energy you depend on. We have big goals that will result in fewer, shorter and less frequent power outages for our nearly 2 million electric customers throughout the Lower Peninsula.
While we might not be able to cheer on our beloved Lions this weekend, enjoy the big game knowing your Consumers Energy team (the other blue team some might say) is working hard for you, all year long.