Jackson, Michigan [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Consumers Energy unveiled its Balanced Energy Initiative, a plan to meet the growing energy needs of 1.8 million electric customers over the next 20 years that calls for energy efficiency, demand management, expanding the use of renewable energy, and developing new power plants, along with utilizing existing generating sources.Consumers Energy filed the Balanced Energy Initiative with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). Last August, Michigan customers set an all-time peak demand record of 8,883 megawatts (MW), exceeding the previous record by 4.8 percent. “As a state, we need to have this discussion now and start working on a variety of fronts to make sure Michigan’s families and businesses will have the power they need in the future,” said John Russell, the president and chief operating officer of Consumers Energy. “We need to make sure we have policies that allow for a balance of energy sources and strategies, including energy efficiency and renewable energy.” In addition to gas and coal use, the Balanced Energy Initiative includes supplementing Consumers Energy’s successful Green Generation program so that renewable energy makes up 10 percent of the electricity the utility’s customers use. It’s now at 5 percent.