LANSING — Widespread power outages over the weekend left more Michiganders in the dark than even southern states ravaged by deadly tornadoes — once again highlighting the failures of DTE and Consumers Energy to maintain our state’s energy system over the years.
It also again underscores the frustrating reality that Michiganders pay the highest rates in the Midwest for the worst service in the Great Lakes region.
The Michigan League of Conservation Voters has repeatedly called since last summer for a statewide investigation into utility reliability, as well as a moratorium on any electric rate increase until DTE and Consumers Energy are held accountable.
“More Michiganders suffered through another blackout than states where historic tornadoes raked 200-mile paths of destruction,” said Bob Allison, deputy director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “We know the weather is only getting more extreme, and the years of disinvestment in our energy grid by DTE and Consumers — while we all pay skyrocketing rates — is putting our economy and our families at-risk. We are repeating our call for the Michigan Public Service Commission to refuse all rate increase requests by DTE and Consumers until we get an investigation into their poor service and lack of solutions.”
To further emphasize this: the Citizens Utility Board of Michigan, an independent organization representing the interests of Michigan’s residential energy customers, released a new report today revealing Michigan continues to have the highest electricity rates in the Midwest and the worst service. The findings are similar to reports issued by the Citizens Utility Board in years past, demonstrating a track-record of poor performance and rising energy costs from DTE and Consumers Energy.
In the last five years, DTE Energy has jacked up rates to the tune of $775 million with little improvements to service while Consumers Energy has requested a $225 million rate increase.
“DTE and Consumers continue to hike up their rates and make empty promises,” said Allison. “We must put Michiganders first and pass bipartisan legislation that would remove the current arbitrary cap on rooftop solar and help residents power their homes and businesses with more affordable, reliable energy.”