Michigan AG calls on DTE, Consumers to automatically give credits to customers after power outages

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is calling on DTE Energy and Consumers Energy to implement automatic credits that customers will receive after power outages.

Nessel's request comes after hundreds of thousands of people were left in the dark after storms last week.  As of 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, more than 67,000 customers were still without power.

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She also requested that credit amounts be increased. 

DTE and Consumers customers are currently able to apply for a $25 credit if an outage has lasted 120 hours under catastrophic conditions that impact 10% or more of customers, such as last week's storms; if an outage lasted more than 16 hours during non-catastrophic conditions; or a customer lost power eight or more times during a 12-month period.

MORE: How to apply for a credit from DTE or Consumers 

The credits would help customers who lost food due to power outages and sought alternative housing while the electricity was out. Nessel also asked the companies to create a fund to assist displaced customers during significant power outages.

Nessel has been pushing the energy companies to adopt such policies for several years.

"The utility workers for Consumers Energy and DTE Energy are working hard to restore power, and I appreciate those who have worked tirelessly the last several days on behalf of the communities they serve, but these companies also need to work hard to restore trust with their customers," Nessel said. "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."