Detroit Evening Report: DTE Energy customers sound off over power outages at town hall meeting

A DTE Energy truck holds up a repair crewman to restore power.

Metro Detroiters blamed recent power outages on lax oversight at a town hall meeting Monday night.

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Dozens attended the evening meeting in Dearborn, telling state regulators that a $35 credit from DTE Energy is not enough compensation for lengthy outages.

Activist Kamau Jawara organized a rally before the hearing, saying lawmakers need to consider harsher penalties for frequent disruptions.

“That means there is an hourly credit that is going to people based on how long they have been out of power,” says Jawara. “This means that people should be credited for the amount of times they are losing power per year.”

Related: DTE Energy undercounts service interruptions on power outage website

Jawara supports the idea of public power, which would bring the electrical grid under state or municipal control.

Diane McLean is 72-years-old and lives in Dearborn where the meeting was held. She says the outages have set her back financially.

“I try to keep my bills up, but I’m a little behind. I usually don’t use my Discover card to pay bills but I had to this time,” McLean said. It’s expensive. It really is, but I had to find a way to get food.”

 The Public Service Commission says it is conducting its first-ever comprehensive audit of the state’s electrical grid and will have findings in about a year.

Other headlines for March 21, 2023:

  • Wayne County Executive Warren Evans to give State of the County tonight
  • Detroit Public Library against using $31 million savings fund for branch repairs
  • Detroit’s fire department to hire 50 additional firefighters

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WDET reporter Eli Newman contributed to this story.

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  • Jerome Vaughn
    Jerome Vaughn is News Director at 101.9 WDET. His interest in news reporting began when he was five years old, after his mom bought him a yellow Panasonic ball and chain radio.