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Consumers Energy Helping Builders Meet Growing Market for New Homes in Michigan

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SOURCE Consumers Energy

150 Percent increase over past 5 years

JACKSON, Mich., Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- New home construction in Michigan is expected to be 150 percent higher this year than in 2009. Consumers Energy has increased its workforce and taken other steps to keep pace with rising demand for new energy service connections.

"We've hired 200 new employees to support the new building sector, which can have a significant impact on the entire state's economy," said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy delivery. "We've shortened our turnaround time for new service orders and increased the amount of timely communicating we do with home builders."

Consumers Energy is working closely with the Home Builders Association of Michigan to make improvements that benefit busy construction companies. Those companies are projected to build nearly 16,000 new Michigan homes this year, the most since 2009.

"The folks at Consumers Energy have worked hard to listen to our members and take action to meet new construction demand. Our mutual efforts will facilitate more construction activity and speed the time in which homeowners can move into their new homes," said Bob Filka, Home Builders Association of Michigan chief executive officer. "By speeding utility service to the construction industry they are helping build up the overall economy."

The HBA of Michigan, local associations and Consumers Energy held five summits this year across Michigan to let home builders know about new improvements.

Consumers Energy has hired engineers to design new energy services, and job schedulers and field crews who install new gas and electric services. Higher volume builders are assigned a dedicated contact by the company. The HBA Michigan will also share data about projected home construction activity with Consumers Energy to help determine what resources are needed to support home builders in future years.

"I am extremely appreciative of the work HBA Michigan and Consumers Energy have done to speed the process to get the homes I build connected to utilities," said Bob Schroeder, owner of Mayberry Homes, in Lansing. "The quicker they make the process, the more homes I can build and the more people I can put to work."

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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Number of new homes built in Michigan (source: Home Builders Association)

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