CMS, Consumers Energy Aim for Net Zero Emissions from Natural Gas Production by 2050

CMS Energy and its primary business, Consumers Energy, today pledged to protect the planet by achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions from the company’s entire natural gas production and delivery system — including customers and suppliers — by 2050.

Achieving net zero emissions means eliminating the impact of emissions traced to the burning of natural gas by customers and greenhouse gas emissions caused by natural gas suppliers who produce and transport natural gas to Consumers Energy’s system.

“Natural gas is safe and affordable and now it can be even more clean,” President and CEO Garrick Rochow said. “We’re making historic, industry-leading changes to protect our planet. This commitment is another step in leading the clean energy transformation for Michigan.”

As a next step on our path to net zero by 2050, the company will partner with customers to reduce their emissions by 20 percent by 2030.

CMS Energy is already implementing industry-leading plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These include:

  • Modernizing its natural gas system to achieve net zero methane emissions from its operations by 2030.
  • Ending coal use and boosting renewable energy fuel sources to achieve net zero carbon emissions from its electric operations by 2040.
  • Pledging to power 1 million electric vehicles in the communities it serves by 2030.

Pursuing a net zero goal for all emission sources, including those from customers and suppliers, aligns the company’s efforts with Michigan’s Healthy Climate Plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as well as the recommendations of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming.

CMS Energy is executing and exploring a variety of pathways to support customers and suppliers who want to reduce their emissions.

  • Carbon offsets: The company recently received regulatory approval for a new program for residential and business customers who want to voluntarily offset carbon emissions from their natural gas use by investing in projects that help Michigan forests reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • Renewable natural gas, or RNG: Produced from organic wastes and other renewable sources, RNG is interchangeable with conventional natural gas and a key technology available to reduce methane emissions. The company recently announced an agreement with Swisslane Farms in west Michigan to build a biodigester facility that, with regulatory approval, will convert agricultural waste into RNG.
  • Energy efficiency: Providing customers with the power to reduce energy waste and lower bills through a variety of energy efficiency and demand response programs. Since 2009, we’ve helped customers save about $4 billion and prevented the emission of almost 19 million tons of carbon dioxide.
  • Emerging technologies: Potential solutions include using hydrogen to produce energy, capturing and permanently storing carbon emissions from natural gas combustion and using hybrid natural gas and electric heat pump systems to heat homes and businesses.

The company is also modernizing its natural gas operations with a 10-year Natural Gas Delivery Plan to ensure the continued delivery of safe, reliable, affordable and clean natural gas. The plan includes accelerated infrastructure replacement, innovative leak detection and key process changes to eliminate, avoid and minimize methane emissions.