AG: Utilities should do more to ease hardships caused by long outages


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says she wants the state Public Service Commission to make electrical utilities do more for people left without service in the wake of severe weather.

Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across Michigan lost power in early August when strong storms swept through the state. Some were without service for a week. Nessel has called on utilities to offer customers credit automatically for those outages and also said they should create a fund to help people displaced by long outages.

“We think that people who have had power outages deserve an automatic credit to their bill. You know, the utility companies absolutely know who their customers are who have lost power. Why should they have to go through this lengthy process to apply for a credit? The credit should be automatic,” Nessel told News 8 Thursday during a visit to Grand Rapids.

“Another thing that we’ve been asking for the Public Service Commission is for more money for credits for people who have lost power. So far, the rate has been $25, which is really, I think, a pathetic amount,” she continued. “It covers practically nothing. If you’ve had your power out for a number of days, $25 is absolutely nothing.”

Nessel said that as the chief consumer advocate in the state, she will continue to urge utilities to “step up” to the challenges that frequent storms cause in interruption of services.

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