April O'Neil / news@whmi.com

Consumers Energy made some big changes that may have area residents and businesses experiencing fewer power outages.

Consumers Energy reported their customers experienced nearly 20 percent fewer outages in 2022 compared to 2021, after making significant upgrades to the Michigan power grid.

The energy provider said “significant upgrades” to its electric grid and equipment reduced almost half the amount of time customers were without power compared to the previous year, with more than 96 percent of outages restored in less than 24 hours.

“Last year, we were able to provide more reliable service for our customers because of the work we have been doing to build a more resilient power grid,” according to Chris Laird, Consumers Energy’s Vice President of Electric Operations. “By trimming trees, investing in our electric grid, and using automation and other technology to quickly resolve problems, we will continue to meet our goal of having few and shorter power outages.”

In addition to reducing outages, the company completed over 7,100 miles of tree-trimming and replaced 10,000 electric poles with material that can withstand severe weather.

As part of a $5.4 billion Electric Reliability Plan, Consumers Energy says they will continue forestry services, replacing poles and wires, investing in new equipment, and addressing issues caused by climate change.

Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest energy provider, providing natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million residents in the Lower Peninsula.