Lansing, MI - After ice storms left large swaths of Michigan residents without power, Attorney General Dana Nessel again calls on DTE Energy and Consumers Energy to proactively issue credits for residents affected by the recent weather events.
“While this ice storm appears to have been one of the worst we have seen in many years, winter weather is an expected occurrence in Michigan. Residents deserve a grid they can rely on,” said Nessel. “Despite asking for record increases time and time again, our utilities have failed to adequately invest in their own infrastructure or prepare for these storm events, choosing instead to leave ratepayers in the dark. Our current service quality standards are not sufficient, and it is incumbent on the utilities to right this wrong.”
In March 2022, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) determined that “[r]atepayers have a right to expect the utilities to anticipate extreme weather events, to provide a hardened grid that can withstand extreme weather, and to be prepared to restore power expediently when the grid fails.”
In its October 5, 2022, order, the MPSC further ordered an “independent review of the adequacy of the electric distribution system operated by Consumers Energy and DTE electric” to determine measures that “may mitigate or avert future crises, including the loss of life and the loss of essential public services.” Nessel is asking the MPSC to publicly share the results of its independent audit (Docket Number U-21305) as soon as possible.
Nessel is also requesting that the Commission reconsider and adopt her recommendations from prior electric outage and reliability investigation dockets, and she will continue to work with the legislature to enshrine protections into law, including:
- automatic credits for residents who lose power;
- more substantial outage credits to help customers who incurred expenses for housing, food, etc; and,
- the creation of metrics with penalties to ensure that the money spent on electric reliability results in increased reliability.
Resources for Residents
Residents still experiencing power outages can check the status of their power restoration or view the outage maps on their utilities’ websites.
DTE Energy is reporting that as of Monday morning, 62,000 customers remain affected by power outages, and downed wires remain a priority. DTE focused its weekend efforts on ensuring schools had power restored to avoid further cancellations.
As of Sunday evening, Consumers Energy has approximately 34,000 outstanding customers and an additional 3,300 unsecured downed wires remaining. Consumers “has reached the halfway mark in its restoration efforts and is committed to safely restoring power to the rest of its customers” by the end of the day Monday.
Michigan State Police offers readiness checklists to help Michigan residents ensure their homes are prepared for extreme events.
2-1-1 is a free resource offered by the United Way that helps connect Michigan residents with local providers and services in their communities. 2-1-1 maintains a list of nearby warming centers for residents without heat during this outage.
Residents are encouraged to call 9-1-1 for any life-threatening emergencies.
Since taking office, the Attorney General has intervened in nearly a hundred rate increase requests before the MPSC, resulting in over $2 billion in savings for Michigan ratepayers.