2017-08-10 / Business

Consumer’s discusses energy over chamber breakfast

By Paula K. Schmidt
810-452-2647 • pschmidt@mihomepaper.com

GRAND BLANC TWP. — The world runs on energy, and in Michigan, Consumer’s Energy provides that for businesses and homes every day. Recently, Kyle McCree Community Affairs Area Manager spoke to the Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce about recent changes taking place in their business model.

McCree is actually a township resident and stated they have over 500 employees who either work or live in Genesee County and pay approximately $240 million in property taxes in the state $15.4 million in the county, and $1.5 in Grand Blanc Township and city which goes into the municipalities general fund to support other infrastructure that residents depend on.

One-third of their energy ‘footprint’ comes from natural gas, one-quarter comes from coal and about 14 percent comes from renewable energy sources and demand site management—or energy that others produce and sell back. That is expected to increase to 15 percent by 2021.

Additionally, they have the largest pump storage facility in the world in Ludington which pumps water uphill at night when its cheap, and lets it run downhill during day to produce electricity via turbines.

Like those municipalities who provide water and sewer utilities to residents, Consumer’s doesn’t make a profit on its gas or electricity, but sells it at cost. It also invests in communities by using local vendors and adding infrastructure.

The way they make money is via investors or banks who finance their infrastructure underground and are regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. McCree added Consumer’s operations are driven by what he called three key elements: People, Planet and Profit.

People means safety, McCree said and they have about 7,500 employees and subcontractors and explained this is demonstrated every time they are in a meeting together; as their standard procedure is to delegate roles to meeting participants such as who will call 911 or determining emergency exits and other safety features just in case of emergency during the meeting.

The second priority is planning and they are currently cleaning up a 1920’s gas plant on the Flint river that was releasing contaminants. The infrastructure in the river is being removed and a pedestrian bridge is being torn down and replaced at a cost of about $7 million. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as CMS.

McCree stated they have a “100 ways to save energy’ brochure available for people who are interested in tips on how to save money on their energy bill.

In other business, Dr. Trevor Alward from Grand Blanc Community Schools announced the board had made the official decision to name the high school sports press box after Charlie Carmody and a public ceremony would be held Aug. 31

Township Police Chief Ron Wiles stated parents are invited to bring their kids to Cookies with a Cop, to be held Aug. 15 at the McFarlen Library, 515 Perry Road. Registration is required and can be done at www.thegdl.org Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce can be reached at 810-695-4222 or online at www.grandblancchamber.com.

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