News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

Lost power? New website can help track if you are owed money


The Michigan Attorney General’s office has launched a website to help people track power outages and whether they are due a credit or a refund for lost service. Attorney General Dana Nessel said she will also use the information gathered to challenge rate-increase cases before state utility regulators.

“People can just go to one central place for all the information that they need and for any complaints that they have to make,” she told Michigan Public Radio. “But also, we want see those complaints too because it really helps us in our cases. We don’t always get all the information from the utilities, right?”

Rick Pluta
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

The attorney general is a party to seven natural gas or electric rate cases pending before the Michigan Public Service Commission. The state’s utility regulator is responsible for approving rate hikes requested by utilities, holding utilities to standards that ensure reliable service and implementing new state energy laws to transition to cleaner sources that reduce the effects of climate change.

Nessel said the goal of the portal is to help Michiganders navigate online resources, follow where outages are most common and file for refunds and credits after losing service.

Winter storms last year left many thousands of Michigan customers without power for days as utilities struggled to keep up with downed lines.

Brian Wheeler is a spokesperson for Consumers Energy, one of the state’s largest utilities that provides electric and natural gas service to nearly 6.6 million Michigan customers.

“She and her office have made it a priority to see that we improve our performance and we justify any increases in our rates to the public and we agree with that mission,” he said. “We believe that we make good investments on behalf of our customers, and we believe that we can always justify the things that we want to do.”

Consumers currently has a rate case before the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network.