October 31, 2008

Consumers Energy: Customers Should Expect a 7 Percent Increase in Winter Heating Bills, Down Sharply From Earlier Projections

JACKSON, Mich., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy customers should expect to see their natural gas bills go up about 7 percent this winter, down sharply from the double-digit increases projected earlier this year.

Consumers Energy estimated today that the typical residential customer will see an average bill of about $160 a month this winter compared to about $150 a month last winter. That estimate is based on normal temperatures for the five-month heating season, which runs from Nov. 1 through March 31.

Soft demand for natural gas and a modest increase in production have helped push down prices nationally from their levels in the spring and early summer, which were dominated by double-digit increases.

Consumers Energy's natural gas prices last winter were 25 percent less than the national average, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. A typical Consumers Energy residential customer uses about 73,000 cubic feet of natural gas during the heating season.

The utility has energy conservation information on its website, http://www.consumersenergy.com/energyanswers, to help customers manage their energy bills. There also is information on the website about assistance programs. All residential customers will receive a brochure in their November bills describing the various assistance programs available.

Under state law, Consumers Energy doesn't make any profit on natural gas. It buys the gas, delivers it to customers, and then recovers the cost under prices authorized by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy , provides natural gas and electricity to nearly 6.5 million of Michigan's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information about Consumers Energy, visit our Website at http://www.consumersenergy.com/

Consumers Energy

CONTACT: Jeff Holyfield, +1-517-788-2394, or Dan Bishop,+1-517-788-2395, both for Consumers Energy

Web site: http://www.consumersenergy.com/http://www.consumersenergy.com/energyanswers

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