The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Michigan applauds Gov. Whitmer for announcing steps today to both improve access to relief for Michigan ratepayers whose lives are too frequently upended by power outages and hold the large investor-owned utilities accountable for unreliable electric service.
"Governor Whitmer is right to recognize that the state of electric reliability in Michigan is unacceptable and demands action," CUB of MI Executive Director Amy Bandyk said. "Many Michigan utility consumers are not aware of how poorly the state's utilities rank compared to those in the rest of the Midwest and country when it comes to how well they keep the lights on."
In an op-ed published in the Detroit Free Press today, Bandyk wrote about how Michigan needs bold new policies to align utility incentives with the interests of their customers.
CUB also praises the governor's position that Consumers Energy and DTE Energy should finance investments into tree trimming, grid-hardening measures and bill credits themselves, rather than placing that burden onto customers. In a March 2020 report that outlines a number of steps to improve reliability, CUB proposed that utilities should not be allowed to raise rates to recover the costs of bill credits that are owed to customers who experience prolonged outages.
"We look forward to working with the governor on implementing reforms that will modernize Michigan's electricity grid so it can provide the reliable service necessary for customer safety and economic growth," Bandyk said.
CUB of MI gives a voice to Michigan utility customers and helps to ensure that citizens of the state pay the lowest reasonable rate for utility services and also benefit from the environmental implications of investment in clean energy. CUB of MI is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose members are individual residential customers of Michigan’s energy utilities.