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Consumers Energy far short of goal in sign-ups



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February 27, 2013 - As of Wednesday afternoon, only two days before a March 1 deadline, Consumers Energy had received 170 applications from Brandon Township residents wishing to be included in the second phase of a gas main extension project in the township.

They may not get their wish without 230 more residents signing up.

Debra Dodd, a Consumers Energy spokesperson, said the utility has not extended the March 1 deadline and if the project has not reached 50 percent participation (400 of 800 total residences to which service has been offered in phase II) by Monday, March 4, the company would release for the project only the streets that reached the 50 percent participation mark.

"We may consider extending the deadline for the remaining streets," she said. "We're not ready to release the names of streets with 50 percent participation, we will do that after the deadline has passed, if necessary."

Dodd said Consumers Energy representatives may be visiting homes within phase II on March 9.

Phase II of the Consumers Energy project in Brandon Township would include the installation of 30 miles of gas main and encompass residences on Perry Lake, Hadley, Granger, Seymour Lake, Hummer Lake, State Park, Glass, and Honert roads, as well as numerous secondary roads.

In December, Consumers Energy completed all gas service installations in phase one, which began in July and included 227 residences on Allen, Reese, Stanton, Sashabaw, Seymour Lake, and Sherwood roads, as well as side streets.

The first phase of a gas main extension project in Atlas Township includes residences on Vassar, Dutch, Atlas, Irish, Horton, and Baldwin roads, and 15 miles of gas main. This project also requires 50 percent participation, or 150 of about 300 total residences. Consumers has received 50 applications so far in Atlas and needs 100 more for the full phase to take place.

"A decision on personal visits in Atlas will be made after they have tallied the number of applications received next week," she said. "Overall, we are encouraged by response on both projects and we're committed to serving the areas where the project receives minimum participation. In the first phase of the project, residents are already enjoying the benefits of receiving natural gas service. We continue to see natural gas prices trending downward, so it makes a lot of sense to sign up right now."

Last year, Consumers officials noted natural gas customers would save $1.35 per gallon versus the cost of propane at that time.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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