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CONSUMERS POWER GAS RATES IN LOWEST 30 PERCENT NATIONWIDE

 JACKSON, Mich., Nov. 19 ~PRNewswire~ -- Consumers Power Company's natural gas rates last winter were lower than more than 70 percent of the nation's gas utilities, according to a new independent survey of residential natural gas rates.
 A National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) survey of winter 1991-92 residential gas rates for the nation's major gas utilities found Consumers Power's rates were lower than 71 percent, or 147 of the nation's 208 largest natural gas utilities. Using the same natural gas usage per month for all utilities, the NARUC survey compared bills for the months of December 1991, January 1992 and February 1992 for gas utilities in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
 Consumers Power's three-month winter 1991-92 residential gas bill of $142.51 placed the company's rates in the lowest 30 percent of gas utility rates in the United States. A Massachusetts company's three month gas bill of $302.45 was the nation's highest, while a Washington gas utility's $96.06 bill for the three months was America's lowest, according to the NARUC survey.
 "Although we don't know how cold the winter of 1992-93 will be, we do know that the per-unit cost of Consumers Power natural gas will be at least 2.7 percent lower than last winter. That's good news for Michigan, because lower energy costs can play a role in improving the economy and will help low income families make ends meet through the heating season," said Michael G. Morris, Consumers Power's chief operating officer.
 Since the winter of 1985-86, Consumers Power's natural gas rates have decreased almost 27 percent. By contrast, the overall Consumer Price Index has increased 28 percent over the same time period.
 The NARUC survey's bill computations were based on the rate schedule applicable for the majority of a utility's space and non-space heating customers within each state. The total bill includes the base rate, the purchased gas adjustment charge and all taxes except sales taxes.
 NARUC is a nonprofit organization whose members include utility regulatory bodies of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
 Consumers Power Company, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE: CMS), is Michigan's largest natural gas and electric utility serving almost 6 million of the state's 9 million residents in 67 of the 68 Lower Peninsula counties. It is the nation's seventh- largest gas distribution utility serving 215 cities and villages including suburban Detroit, Bay City, Flint, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Pontiac and Saginaw in 40 of the 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
 -0- 11~19~92
 ~CONTACT: Charles E. MacInnis of Consumers Power Company, 517-788-0333~
 (CMS)


CO: Consumers Power Company ST: Michigan IN: UTI OIL SU:

JG -- DE008 -- 2759 11~19~92 10:10 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 19, 1992
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