Consumers Energy cut methane emissions from Michigan natural gas system 20 percent since 2012

Published on September 01, 2023 by Chris Galford

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According to new figures released by Consumers Energy this week, the utility successfully reduced methane emissions from its 30,000-mile natural gas system by 20 percent since 2012, making for cleaner operations throughout Michigan.

Efforts to continue this work were accounted for in the company’s Natural Gas Delivery Plan, a 10-year, $12 billion push to modernize its pipelines and natural gas storage network. Recently, Consumers received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) for a settlement agreement that authorizes a $95 million rate adjustment to continue work on the pipelines and reduce leaks.

“Consumers Energy is committed to protecting the planet as we heat nearly 2 million Michigan homes and businesses safely and affordably this autumn and winter,” Christopher Fultz, Consumers Energy’s vice president of natural gas operations, said. “We are taking actions every day to strengthen our system across our state and to achieve net-zero methane emissions by 2030.”

Part of the ongoing work included replacing more than 600 miles of pipeline dating back to the 1940s. Through this, older style pipe – more than a third was made of cast iron – is being replaced with newer infrastructure that is less susceptible to leaks. Thousands of lines are being actively replaced, and outdated infrastructure will be rehabilitated or retired in favor of modern, efficient, cleaner equipment.

Bill changes from the newly approved rate settlement will go into force this October.