LANSING, Mich. – A bill proposed by a Michigan lawmaker would force utility companies like DTE Energy and Consumers Energy to pay customers for every single hour of power outages.
DTE announced Monday that it would pay customers who have been without power for more than 96 hours a flat rate of $35. Those customers have been in the dark since a winter storm hit Southeast Michigan on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.
Abraham Aiyash, the Michigan House Majority Floor Leader, said he’s proposed a bill that would make utility companies pay customers $5 for the first hour, and increasing amounts for specified periods of time thereafter.
After the first hour, customers would receive $7 for each hour up to five hours, then $10 for hours 5-12, $12 for hours 12-24, $15 for hours 24-48, $18 for hours 48-72, and $25 for each hour over 72.
So, for example, if a customer went 15 hours without power, they would receive $5 for the first hour, $7 for each hour up to five hours (an additional $28), $10 for each hour from 5-12 (an additional $70 for those seven hours), and then $12 each for hours 13, 14, and 15 (an additional $36).
Hypothetically, that customer would receive $139 for the 15-hour outage, instead of nothing. Meanwhile, customers who lost power for 96 hours would receive $1,639, instead of $35.
More than 600,000 people lost power due to last week’s storm, and while the majority were restored by the weekend, thousands of people were still in the dark into this week.
Click here to read everything from DTE Energy during a Monday (Feb. 27) briefing.