(FOX 2) - With tens of thousands of homes still without power five days after an ice storm reaped havoc on Southeast Michigan's electrical grid, there are calls from lawmakers for utility companies to compensate customers for their outages.
UPDATE: In this case, DTE will automatically give customers a $35 credit if their power was out for 96+ hours.
One Hamtramck lawmaker went as far as to call for DTE and Consumers to pay people back for any food or medicine they lost from their power going out.
"They can afford to pay you back for groceries, medicine, and outage time, don't you agree?" Rep. Abraham Aiyash wrote on Twitter.
There may be a renewed push for legislation addressing Michigan's outage issues, which dwarfed nearby states in the volume of homes that lost power. More than 500,000 homes in just Southeast Michigan alone lost power, according to DTE's outage map from last week. Another 200,000 homes that are serviced by Consumers Energy also lost power.
In Illinois, the number of homes that lost power was in the tens of thousands. There were fewer than 10,000 outages in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio. In Michigan, where 700,000 homes experienced some kind of outage, there were also public safety concerns from downed wires electrocuting unsuspecting victims.
Last week's incident was so severe that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel called on the affected utilities to "proactively" issue credit for outages.
In this case, customers who did not have power for 96 hours or more will get a $25 credit automatically. Typically, customers have to apply for credit.
DTE and Consumers Energy both have reimbursement programs that under the right circumstances will enable customers to get money for their outage period.
STORM COVERAGE: DTE Outages in Southeast Michigan: 61,000+ still without power
In most cases, will provide customers with a $25 credit if customers experiencined one of the following:
- An outage of more than 120 hours under catastrophic conditions, which counts for an official state of emergency or an interruption of more than 10% of a utility's customers
- A power outage of more than 16 hours during non-catastrophic conditions
- Eight or more outages during a 12-month period
The same condition apply for Consumers Energy. Credit can be applied for here.