The MPSC is considering higher penalites for power outages
Take two minutes to tell the regulators your opinion about higher penalties for poor service
DTE Energy has been under scrutiny due to extended power outages affecting hundreds of thousands of its customers. These outages, caused by severe weather conditions such as ice storms, heatwaves and thunderstorms, have left residents without electricity and heat for extended periods, sometimes lasting over a week. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has been actively involved in addressing these concerns, weighing financial disincentives against utility companies for such prolonged outages.
The MPSC is taking public comments around this issue. You have until September 22nd to tell them your thoughts.
Several factors contribute to the call for more penalties against DTE:
1. Reliability Concerns: The reliability of the electrical grid has been a significant concern, with many questioning DTE's preparedness and infrastructure maintenance.
2. Inadequate Compensation: DTE's offer of a $35 bill credit as compensation for the outages was viewed by many as insufficient. This credit is essentially a penalty imposed on DTE by the MPSC. However, many customers found this amount insulting, given the hardships they endured.
3. Infrastructure Issues: DTE Energy's infrastructure, some of which dates back to its founding in 1903, has been highlighted as a potential reason for the frequent outages.
4. Health and Safety Concerns: Extended power outages pose severe health risks, especially to vulnerable populations. Residents with health conditions, such as COPD and asthma, have expressed concerns about the lack of power affecting their medical equipment and overall well-being.
The Michigan People's Campaign thinks that more penalties against DTE Energy for power outages are a necessary measure to force DTE to ensure reliable service, make necessary infrastructure improvements, and adequately compensate people for power outages.