Consumers Energy says its 1.8 million electric customers used more energy this summer than at any time in the company’s 125-year history. The Jackson-based utility says that Michigan’s rebounding economy and high temperatures drove customer power demand to several new all-time records. They include highest hourly customer demand peak of 9,006 megawatts set on July 17 and highest electric sendout for any month of 4.6 million megawatt-hours set during July.
The previous records were set in July 2011. Consumers says at the same time, customers experienced a high level of reliability noting that during the 2012 peak load day, there were 62 percent fewer heat-related customer outages compared to the record peak load day in 2006, and 22 percent fewer heat-related outages compared to the record peak load day in 2011.
The utility attributes the improved performance to the company’s $640 million investment in its distribution system over the past five years.