JACKSON, MI -- Consumers Energy has partnered with Silicon Valley-based solar provider SunPower Corporation to offer its customers a streamlined program to power their homes with solar energy.
The Jackson-based company announced the start of its Solar Distributed Generation Pilot program on Friday, May 26. The program provides customers the opportunity to install rooftop solar panels provided by SunPower.
Consumers customers have gone through third-party companies to install solar panels in the past, said Brian Wheeler, senior public information director. Customers can still purchase solar panels through other companies.
However, the partnership with SunPower gives customers a consistent, reputable company to go through for panel installation, product and power warranties and financing options, Wheeler said.
Customers who participate in the program can earn credits toward electric bills when they generate more electricity than they use. They can still receive energy from Consumers when they aren't generating solar electricity.
The cost for installation varies on a house-to-house basis, Wheeler said.
The program comes as a response to Michigan residents' growing interest in generating their own solar energy, said Dennis Dobbs, Consumers Energy vice president.
"We're rolling out new programs for Michigan residents as we all do our part for the environment," he stated in a release.
In 2013, 7.8 percent of Michigan's energy was generated from renewable sources. That number was projected to increase to more than 10 percent by 2016, according to a Michigan Public Service Commission annual report.
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