The company was founded in 1886 as Commonwealth Power Company by William A. Foote, who was originally tasked to install electric lighting in downtown Jackson. After a series of acquisitions and mergers involving other local electric, gas, and trolley companies which were properties of W. A. Foote, as well as Anton G. Hodenpyl and Henry. D. Walbridge, the company incorporated as Consumers Power Company in 1910 in Maine. It became part of the utility holding conglomerate Commonwealth and Southern, which held utilities in 10 other states. His wife later founded Foote Hospital, now Allegiance Hospital, also in Jackson, Michigan.