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MPSC: Michiganders will be getting larger credits for power outages

Two electric power workers hover in a bucket as they make repairs.
Jamie Hooper/Jamie Hooper - stock.adobe.com

Michigan residents who lose power for long periods of time will be getting larger credits. And those $35 credits will apply for each additional day their power is out.

The Michigan Public Service Commission decided Friday that customers will now receive a $35 credit for outages; it used to be $25.

The credits will kick in after 16 hours without power during normal weather but it'll take longer if the weather is more severe.

The power outage credits will kick in after 96 hours of a utility having 10% or more of customers without power and after 48 hours during gray sky conditions where between 1 and 10% of customers are without power.

These changes are for future power outages and will be added automatically to accounts. Customers formerly had to apply with their utility company.

“We know we have a lot more work to do, and we’re grateful to have heard from Michiganders during the MPSC’s recent town halls about their frustrations with unreliable service and their ideas for improving reliability, utility response to outages, and customer service,” Commissioner Katherine Peretick said in a press release. “We’ve heard you loud and clear, and we are committed to taking concrete actions to improve the power grid."

The Commission's order today came with other changes.

It shortened the required times for utilities to restore long-duration outages, reduced the amount of time first responders have to guard downed wires until they're relieved by a utility lineworker and updated reliability standards for utilities. They'll also be requiring annual reports for rural electric cooperatives, according to a press release.

Information about the new outage credits is available at the MPSC’s tip sheet on outage credits and power outage safety.

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.
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