Michigan AG Nessel wants higher credits for storm victims
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Attorney General Dana Nessel is urging two of Michigan’s largest utility companies to increase the credits offered to customers who have suffered losses because of outages after nearly 1 million homes and businesses reported they lost power during storms last week.
The storms, from late Tuesday through Thursday, carried gusts that exceeded 60 mph (97 kph), according to DTE Energy. The winds downed more than 3,000 power lines. The western and northern region of the lower peninsula were the hardest hit.
About 19,000 Consumers Energy customers still didn’t have power early Monday, but the company was aiming to restore their power by the end of the day, said Katie Carey, the director of media relations for Consumers Energy.
Nessel is calling on DTE Energy and Consumers Energy to raise the $25 credits required by state law that customers can apply for if they’ve experienced a power outage for an extended period of time.
The credit should be automatic and should be increased to reflect costs such as the loss of hundreds of dollars worth of food, Nessel said in a news release Monday.
Consumers Energy will stick with the current system and standards for credits, but has provided about 12,500 customers with bottled water, boxed lunches and tickets to zoos and water parks for families to get out of the house, Carey said.
Nessel’s press secretary Lynsey Mukomel said in an email that the current system doesn’t provide a fair response and that credits should be considered on a case-by-case basis reflecting the length of time the power was out and consumer costs resulting from the outage.
Nessel is running for reelection in 2022.
Anna Liz Nichols is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.