Skip Navigation
Michigan Public Service CommissionMichigan.gov, official Web site for the State of Michigan
Michigan.gov Home
close print view

MPSC Launches Investigation into the Responses of Consumers Energy Company and DTE Electric Company to Recent Ice Storm Damage

Contact:  Judy Palnau, 517-241-3323
Agency:  Michigan Public Service Commission   

January 8, 2014 - The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today launched an investigation into the responses of Consumers Energy Company and DTE Electric Company to recent storm damage in their service territories.

"The Michigan Public Service Commission has an obligation to ensure that regulated utilities are using ratepayer supplied funds to provide customers with reasonably reliable service, to protect the public from hazardous downed power lines, and to promptly respond to and restore power to customers suffering from outages," said MPSC Chairman John D. Quackenbush.

"Moreover, Governor Rick Snyder last month featured electric reliability - as it relates to the number of outages and their length - as one of his top energy goals for Michigan. Reports of prolonged power outages raise serious concerns and require review by the Commission."

Today's order launches an investigation that will examine: how the ice storm affected the utilities' distribution system; how the utilities responded before and during the storm (including information on the number and deployment of utility line crews, Michigan-based contractors, and mutual assistance crews from other states, as well as information on forestry crews); whether any changes could be implemented to reduce the potential for future power outages of the magnitude recently witnessed; whether there is evidence of a failure on the part of either utility to properly maintain its distribution system that could have contributed to the outages experienced during these storms; whether the utilities were properly prepared to receive and respond to customer calls to report outages, any problems experienced on the reporting system during the storm, and whether accurate information was relayed to customers; and whether the utilities sufficiently addressed all public safety concerns associated with downed power lines in a timely manner.

The Commission directed the utilities to file a report in this docket no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 7, addressing these issues. The public is invited to comment on the utility reports. Written and email comments may be filed with the MPSC no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 21, 2014. All comments should reference Case No. U-17542. Written comments should be sent to: Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing, MI 48909. Comments may be emailed to: mpscedockets@michigan.gov. All information submitted to the Commission in this matter will become public information available on the Commission's website and subject to disclosure.

Thereafter, the MPSC staff will file a report in this docket no later than 5 p.m. on March 10, analyzing the comments and the utilities' filings and recommending potential changes to utility operations or procedure, if such changes are identified. The utilities may thereafter file a response to the MPSC staff's report no later than 5 p.m. on March 24. At the conclusion of the process, the Commission may propose remedial action, as appropriate.

The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Case No. U-17542

For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara. Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/michiganLARA, “Like” us on Facebook or find us on YouTube www.youtube.com/michiganLARA.


                                                                            ### 

Related Content
 •  MPSC Highlights Spanish Language Resources During National Hispanic Heritage Month
 •  MPSC Co-Sponsors Advanced Lighting Conference in Lansing that Showcases Dramatic Energy Efficiency Improvements
 •  MPSC Directs Staff to Convene An Informational Collaborative on Alternative Telecommunications Relay Service Providers
 •  MPSC Approves Settlement Agreement Authorizing Midwest Energy Cooperative to Reconcile its 2013 Power Supply Costs and Increase Rates
 •  MPSC Approves Settlement Agreement Authorizing Northern States Power Company to Reconcile Its 2013 Energy Optimization Costs and Revenues
 •  MPSC Directs Indiana Michigan Power Company to File Proposal that Examines the Cost Allocation and Rate Design Methods Used to Set Rates for Electric Customers
 •  MPSC Approves Settlement Agreement Authorizing SEMCO Energy Gas Company to Reconcile Its 2013 Energy Optimization Plan Revenues and Costs
 •  MPSC Approves Development of Natural Gas Price Comparison Website to Help Customers Make an Informed Decision When Choosing a Provider
 •  MPSC Approves Settlement Agreement Authorizing Wisconsin Public Service Corporation to Reconcile Its 2013 Electric and Natural Gas Energy Optimization Costs and Revenues
 •  MPSC: Telephone Discounts Available to Low-Income and Eligible Senior Customers
 •  MPSC: Deadline to Apply for Michigan Home Heating Credit Approaches
 •  MPSC: Harbor, Inc. in Emmet County Becomes Tenth Michigan Community to Earn "Connected" Broadband Status, Making High-Speed Internet a Priority
 •  MPSC Approves More than $89 million in Michigan Energy Assistance Program Grants
 •  MPSC Issues New Consumer Tips Sheet for Propane Customers
 •  MPSC Directs Consumers Energy Company and DTE Electric Company to File Proposals that Examine the Cost Allocation and Rate Design Methods Used to Set Rates for Electric Customers
 •  MPSC Issues Net Metering Report Showing a Steady Increase in Size of Program
 •  MPSC to Host Informational Exhibit at Upper Peninsula State Fair
 •  MPSC Adopts New 2014-2015 Funding Factor for Low Income Energy Assistance Fund
 •  MPSC Approves Two Settlement Agreements Authorizing Alpena Power Company and Michigan Gas Utilities to Reconcile Their 2013 Energy Optimization Plan Costs and Revenues
 •  CORRECTION: MPSC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund Factor
QR code

Michigan.gov Home
PoliciesMichigan NewsMichigan.gov Survey

Copyright © 2014 State of Michigan