Consumers CEO talks renewable energy

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The CEO of CMS Energy said the cheapest form of energy is conservation, during a presentation September 19 at Loosemore Auditorium.

John Russell, president and chief executive officer of CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy, was the featured speaker at The Peter F. Secchia Breakfast Lecture sponsored by the Seidman College of Business.

During his presentation, “Our Promise to our Customers and to Michigan,” Russell said the best way for customers to save money is to conserve energy like using better insulation or more effiecient light bulbs. He said electronic meters help customers see just how much energy they are using.

Russell also said Consumers Energy is the number one renewable energy supplier in the state. “By 2015 we will be at 10 percent renewable energy,” said Russell. “It will cost $12 billion to be at 25 percent by 2025, like a ballot issue proposes. Wind turbines are expensive and an intermittent source of power. Renewable energy is one of the cleanest sources of power but not the cheapest.”

In the future, Russell said Consumers Energy will continue to find efficient fuel sources which will include building on-shore wind and natural gas and shutting down old coal plants.

Consumers Energy serves 1.8 million electric customers and 1.7 million natural gas customers. The company has annual revenues of $6 billion, assets totaling $15.3 billion and 7,700 employees.