AG Nessel Calls Out Consumers Energy, Insists They ‘Do Better’
While thanking workers for their efforts to restore power after violent storms, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel asks Consumers to issue credit, plan better.
Many people spent days without power after strong thunderstorms and even a tornado ripped across the state in early August. Consumers Energy crews went to work almost immediately to restore power to over 250,000 homes and businesses knocked offline. A week later, the work is not entirely finished. As of 8:30 AM Monday morning, more than 67,000 customers remained without power in Michigan.
Consumers Energy offered customers a $25 rebate only if they applied for it online and only if they lost electricity for more than 120 hours. Michigan's Attorney General says that is not enough. While saluting the crews and "those who have worked tirelessly the last several days on behalf of the communities they serve," she also demanded the utility companies work hard to restore trust with their customers.
One way to restore confidence is to voluntarily adopt automatic outage credits and create a fund to assist customers displaced because of these increasingly frequent and powerful storms. We know that climate change is having a significant real impact, and a business-as-usual approach is no longer sufficient. That is why it's imperative that our utility companies adapt to the changing climate and needs of their thousands of customers. Consumers Energy and DTE must do better than this.
-Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel
This is not the first time the issue has come up. Nessel raised these same concerns in a July 2019 letter to the former Chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) in response to storms that year, and continued with comments filed with MPSC in August 2019, March 2020, and August 2020. Michigan utilities rank in the bottom quartile of reliability when measured against utilities around the country.
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