Consumers Energy will pay $545,000 to settle a dig notice violation case filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Part of the settlement will benefit a non-profit that helps people pay their utility bills.
The state's MISS DIG system helps prevent accidental strikes of underground pipelines. Utilities must stake the location of their pipelines fairly quickly after they receive a dig notice.
The Michigan Public Service Commission says Consumers Energy didn't respond in a timely manner to thousands of dig notifications in a two-month period last year.
The utility has agreed to eliminate its backlog and it will not pass the $1.7 million dollar cost on to customers.
Consumers Energy will also pay:
• A $145,000 civil penalty to the Commission that will be used for underground facility safety education and training;
• $100,000 directly to MISS DIG Systems, Inc., for improvements to MISS DIG;
• And a donation of $300,000 to The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), which provides utility bill assistance to people in need; to the extent practicable, the amount shall be used for the benefit of Consumers customers.
Consumers Energy is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.