May 5, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- WMU has agreed to purchase a significant portion of its electricity from CMS Energy Corp. of Dearborn in an arrangement that will save the University 15 percent on its electric bill.
"We're always seeking opportunities to control our costs," says Lowell P. Rinker, assistant vice president for business. "Our bottom line is that we want to get the best deal for the University and for our students to help us hold down the cost of tuition."
Rinker says WMU would save about $15,000 per month on its electric bill with the new contract. The power will supplement electricity produced by WMU's two natural-gas fueled turbines.
The turbines currently produce eight megawatts of power and are being upgraded to produce 10 megawatts. The two-year agreement allows CMS to provide the difference between that amount and the University's peak load of about 15 megawatts.
"WMU's new contract puts it on the cutting edge of the electric restructuring taking place in the United States and abroad," says William N. Schivly, executive vice president and chief operating officer of CMS Marketing, Services and Trading.
WMU was able to choose its electricity supplier under Consumer Energy's direct access program. The experimental program was created under an order from the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Consumers Energy will deliver the electricity to WMU and also will serve as a backup supplier. The University has had success in competitively pricing natural gas and telecommunications services.
Media contact: Mike Matthews, 616 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Western Michigan University
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