Guest Column

New electric rates should be good for business

September 11, 2015
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My company, Consumers Energy, has deep roots in Michigan.

We started nearly 130 years ago here in our state. We provided the first electricity to Michigan’s farms. We’ve provided families and business with energy that powers their lives every day, even when — as we saw recently after storms struck Northern Michigan — Mother Nature makes our job tough.

As a Michigan company, our success depends on the state’s success. That’s why we’re proud when we can do our part to create a climate where job providers choose our state, or help make it that business is good enough that they can expand.

We want to keep costs down for employers, knowing they can put those savings toward healthy companies and putting people to work.

The Michigan Public Service Commission, which regulates our work, recently approved our plan to lower electric costs for energy-intensive businesses. These are companies, such as large factories, that might use as much electricity as a small city. While we all watch our bills, managing energy costs for them can determine if they choose to stay in Michigan or look across the state’s borders in other directions.

Our plan, which grew out of a state law called Public Act 169, will reduce electric costs for some energy-intensive employers by as much as 15 percent, starting in December. Households that we serve, meanwhile, will continue paying bills that are lower than most of the United States, averaging around $3 a day.

These changes are important for Michigan. Our state continues to make its economic comeback, but we must still find ways to keep jobs here. Businesses that we serve should know they will receive a reliable flow of electricity.

Now, they will have even more incentive to grow here, knowing that their costs are even more competitive with neighboring states such as Ohio or Indiana.

We at Consumers Energy don’t focus on price alone. We’re committed to providing solutions every day to employers’ needs, particularly when it comes to the array of energy-efficiency programs that we offer to help lower costs.

We can offer help for any business — from a large factory to a downtown coffee shop. Several of the options we offer to businesses can be found at

We are excited to be lowering costs for the largest employers we serve. We think that will pay dividends in jobs and in making Michigan an even more attractive place to live and work.

Garrick Rochow is vice president and chief customer officer for Consumers Energy.

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