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Gov. Whitmer demands action from power companies after recent outages

The governor is urging utility companies to automatically add credits to customers who lose power.
Credit: State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling on DTE Energy, Consumers Energy and Indiana Michigan Power to do more to help families dealing with extended power outages. 

Over the last few weeks, severe storms caused more than 750,000 Michiganders to lose power statewide during some of the hottest days of the year. 

RELATED: Michigan homeowners anxiously wait for restored power

While most customers have the lights back on, many families are still without power. 

"This summer, Michiganders have been dealing with extreme weather events that led to lengthy power outages and repeated flooding,” said Whitmer. 

"We need tangible, immediate action from Michigan’s three largest utility companies to ensure the production and delivery of affordable, reliable energy to every family, community, and small business.”  

Her office is asking power companies to increase tree trimming and other grid-hardening practices to reduce outages. 

RELATED: Michigan AG Nessel wants higher credits for storm victims

Whitmer said these extra investments should be financed by the company, not the customers. 

Gov. Whitmer is also calling on the utility companies to automatically credit customers who lose power as well as increase the amount paid out. 

You can read her letter to the utility company CEOs here

Katie Carey, Director of External Relations for Consumers Energy, responded to Whitmer's demands Friday afternoon: 

"As an energy provider, we know keeping the lights on is job one for Consumers Energy. Dealing with power outages can be frustrating for our customers, and we’re proud of our team’s amazing work last week to restore power swiftly and safely and care for our customers who were impacted by the extreme weather Michigan endured.  

To work to prevent outages, we’ve already more than doubled our investment in grid hardening reliability and increased our forestry investment by more than 60 percent since 2018. 

Looking forward, we plan to continue to significantly increase our investments in grid reliability. We have a $5.4 billion electric reliability plan that is a blueprint for serving Michigan today and innovating to reduce the duration and number of power outages. 

We are proud to partner with the Governor and Michigan Public Service Commission on improving reliability, in an affordable way, when historic weather events hit our state."

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