Consumers Energy’s President and CEO is making the rounds to give Michigan residents a positive message for our future.  “I heard a saying yesterday that we don’t inherit the land from previous generations, we’re actually borrowing it from future generations “, says Patti Poppe, who has been the Chief at Consumers for about three years.  Poppe spoke in Battle Creek on Thursday at the Math & Science Center and appeared on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins on Friday.

Poppe, who is from Jackson Michigan, has some unique qualifications.   Her father was a nuclear engineer for Consumers Power, and she is also an engineer.   She studied at Purdue and Stanford.  She worked at General Motors and DTE.

“I feel like my time in automotive trained me to think about lean, and in my time at DTE I learned about producing electricity and it all came together here at Consumers making clean, affordable and lean energy for all Michiganders .”

Last June, the Michigan Public Service Commission gave Consumers Energy the green light for their Clean Energy Plan.  “It’s a 20 year plan that has a heavy dose of new solar energy, combined with one of our great assets here, the Ludington storage plant, and “said Poppe.  “We have closed 7 of our 12 coal plants.   Our plan is to replace those remaining five with new renewable energy.”   Poppe says they’ve all but phased out nuclear power plants. “We don’t have any nuclear power plants in Consumers’ fleet anymore.”  She says they purchase the energy from the Palisades plant near South Haven, but that plant is due to permanently close soon.

Poppe’s message to all Michiganders is to waste less energy, and use less peak demand energy. “It’s a little crazy,” she says.  “People say, Patti, why do you want people to use less of your product.  Not too many companies have a pitch like that.  What we’re trying to do is prevent having to build new plants.”  Poppe says if people will get on board with conserving energy, they can prevent having to build three more power plants.”

Poppe is hoping people will go to www.micleanenergyplan.com   It’s a great source to learn more energy saving options, tailored for your home or business.   “And for everyone who comes, we’ll plant a tree in your honor, and I promised my line workers that we wouldn’t plant those trees near the power lines.”

“There once was a time when we had to make a sucker’s choice between clean and expensive energy or cheap and dirty stuff.  We don’t have to do that anymore.  We can have affordable, clean energy.  Your Consumers Energy team is on the job.”