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Consumers Energy asks for energy surcharge reduction

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Consumers Energy says it produces about five percent of its power from Michigan-based renewable projects.

In 2008, Michigan enacted a new energy law. It requires power companies to produce 10 percent of their power from Michigan-based renewable sources by the year 2015.

Now Consumers Energy is asking state regulators for permission to reduce customers’ bills by about $55 million.

Consumers spokesman Dan Bishop says the company is on track to reach that goal, with about five percent of its power now coming from renewable sources.

And that’s why Consumers says it wants to put a little bit of money back into its customers’ pockets.

“The wind turbine technology has gotten a little more efficient," Bishop says. "There’s also a federal production tax credit that’s in place. Some renewable projects are coming online a little bit earlier than expected.”

Customers now pay a $2.50 surcharge on their monthly bills.

Bishop isn’t sure how much the surcharge will be if Consumers’ request is approved.