JACKSON, Mich., Oct. 1, 2001 Consumers Energy today opened up its Green Power Pilot Program to its Michigan customers.
The program was announced by the utility in July and has been approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Electric customers who sign up for the program can choose to buy 10 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent of their energy from certified green power generators. Participating customers will pay a Green Surcharge of 0.32 cents, 1.6 cents or 3.2 cents per kilowatt-hour respectively for their service. Almost all of the surcharge will be passed directly to certified generators for power delivered to the Consumers Energy electric system; the remainder will cover the utility's cost of administering the program.
"Green power producers need this revenue because the cost of their power is significantly higher than conventional power sources," said Scott Brockett, Consumers Energy's Green Power Program project manager. "We are not including any existing hydro dams, waste-to-energy plants or other generators now serving our customers. All of the generators in this program are new. Participation by our customers is very important to their success."
The pilot program is limited to a maximum generating capacity sufficient to meet the needs of about 18,000 homes.
Customers who participate must stay in the program for a minimum of one year to give green energy providers a reliable and measurable revenue stream. However, customers can contract to pay the Green Surcharge for up to 17 years. The pilot program has a term of three years. At the end of the three-year period, a determination will be made whether to extend the program or make it permanent.
Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, is Michigan's largest utility providing natural gas and electricity to more than six million of the state's nearly 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, visit the web site at www.consumersenergy.com