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Governor Whitmer Calls on Michigan Utilities to Put Families First


August 20, 2021  



Governor Whitmer Calls on Michigan Utilities to Put Families First 

Governor urges utilities to boost payments to Michiganders facing power outages, invest in longer-term solutions to keep the lights on  


LANSING, Mich. -?Governor Gretchen Whitmer calls on DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, and Indiana Michigan Power to take immediate action to help Michigan families dealing with extended power outages and commit resources to improve reliability through tree trimming and grid hardening. 


"This summer, Michiganders have been dealing with extreme weather events that led to lengthy power outages and repeated flooding," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "More than 750,000 Michiganders lost power over the last few weeks, with some outages lasting up to a week on some of the hottest days of the year. Outages like these lead to fridges full of spoiled food, interfere with life-saving medical equipment, disrupt the workday, and exacerbate the dangers of unmitigated hot weather. 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." 


Governor Whitmer is calling on utilities to automatically credit Michiganders who experienced outages and increase the amount paid out. She is also asking for immediate action to reduce disruptions to power by increasing tree trimming and other grid-hardening practices. These extra investments should be financed by the company, rather than customers. Safe, dependable energy is key to a high quality of life and strong economic growth. The state's electric grid must be up to the task so families, communities, and small businesses across Michigan can keep the lights on. 


The Governor also encourages the Michigan Public Service Commission to prevent utilities from recovering outage-related costs from customers; require utilities to develop more extensive emergency preparedness plans; and speed up the adoption of rules that will increase grid security and reliability. 


Over the last two years, the State of Michigan has taken several steps to boost reliability and study the electric grid. This includes work to implement the recommendations identified in the 2019 Statewide Energy Assessment and the MI Power Grid initiative. It is clear, however, that further action is needed to make our electric infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change. 


The letters can be read here:

Utility Outage Letter to CEOs.pdf 

Utility Letter_Outages_MPSC.pdf