DTE Energy says customers without power for 4 or more days will get an automatic $35 credit

A DTE Energy crew deals with down tree limbs and wires.
A DTE Energy crew deals with down tree limbs and wires. Photo credit Mike Campbell/WWJ

DETROIT (WWJ) -- DTE Energy says customers who have been without electricity for four days or more will received an automatic $35 credit — even as more power outages are piling up.

The $35 credit, announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, will replace a $25 credit that DTE customers were instructed to apply for online.

DTE officials said the credit will automatically be applied to your bill if your power has been out for more than 96 hours, or for four or more days.

In the latest update, DTE said about 30,000 customers were still without heat and lights after last week's ice storm knocked out electricity to more than 600,000 Metro Detroit-area homes and businesses.

In addition to that, DTE said, about 65,000 customers lost power since the initial storm, including more than 10,000 outage resulting from the latest blast of wintry weather on Monday.

Ryan Stowe, Vice President Distribution Operations at DTE, said the utility is proud to say that they've been able to restore power to more than 630,000 customers following what he called "the largest ice storm in our company's history."

Stowe acknowledged, however: "I know that's little comfort if you're still without power right now, and I want you to know that I commit to you — along with the thousands of people here at DTE — we're continuing to work around the clock... that this process is not going to stop until we get every single customer restored."

Stowe said, with the increasing severity of these weather events in mind, DTE has invested more than $1 billion in the past year trying to harden the electrical grid and improve the system.

As for who is still without power, the DTE outage map shows Macomb County has a couple of of thousands outages, while most of the remaining outages are in Wayne County.

Ron Bonaventura in St. Clair Shores said power at his home has been out since last Wednesday, along with around 15 other homes in his area. He told WWJ this is simply unacceptable.

"We're going through wood like you would popcorn at a movie," Bonaventura said. "To stay warm we're sleeping in our living room. It's beyond inconvenient now."

"This shouldn't happen," he added. "...It's acceptable a couple of days. Like I said, this is 2023. There should be a way that this is done quicker."

DTE officials said they believes they will have electricity restored to "the vast majority" of customers by the end of Tuesday, almost an entire week after the initial outages.

Officials at the utility said crews focused its weekend efforts on ensuring schools had power restored to avoid further cancellations.

Elsewhere in the state, Consumers Energy at last check said it had approximately 34,000 outstanding customers and an additional 3,300 unsecured downed wires remaining. Consumers said it's reached the halfway mark in its restoration efforts and is committed to restoring power to the rest of its customers by Monday night.

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