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'Catastrophic' storm likely means few utility bill credits for those affected by power outage

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

It appears few Michiganders who spent the weekend without electricitywill be able to apply for a credit on their next utility bill.

More than 600,000 DTE and Consumers Energy customers spent part of the past few days in the dark after strong storms knocked out their power. Both utilities expect to restore electricity to most, if not all, of their affected customers by late Tuesday or Wednesday.

State law says utility customers who were without power for 16 or more hours are entitled to a $25 credit.  

But Consumers Energy and DTE are calling this weekend’s wild weather a ‘catastrophic event.’ Both utilities say damaging 60 to 70 mile an hour winds knocked out power to more than 10% of their customers.

food safety chart
Credit USDA
For those without power, the USDA provides information about food safety.

Because of that, Michiganders will have to be in the dark for 120 hours to qualify for the $25 credit.   

A DTE spokeswoman expects power will be restored to all the utility’s electric customers before anyone reaches the 120 hour mark. A Consumers Energy spokeswoman says it’s possible a few of their customers may cross the 120 hour threshold before they finish restoring power.

Follow these links from DTE and Consumers Energy to learn more about how to apply for the utility bill credit. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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