Lawmakers propose bills that would make power companies pay for outages

Posted at 8:48 AM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 08:48:39-04

(WXYZ) — A group of state lawmakers are pushing for new legislation this week that would hold utility companies accountable for power outages.

The proposed legislation would require energy companies to provide energy bill credits, which would increase by the hour, along with increased oversight and transparency.

This proposed legislation would require companies to credit $5 an hour for the first hour and then increase up to $25 an hour after 72 hours.

The total package has five bills and would also let the public have more oversight and involvement.

Co-owner of 27th Letter Books in Detroit is happy that these bills were introduced.

Over the summer, her business was hit by flooding and power outages causing them to lose thousands in business.

"It's continued to be an issue for us to not be able to rely on stable power," co-owner Erin Pineda said. "I would say it was in the thousands of dollars of lost revenue, especially as a new business that was important for us."

State representative Yousef Rabhi of Ann Arbor, is one of the lawmakers proposing new legislation.

"That is going to be seen as a huge expense and something they're going to do everything in their power to avoid, which means they're going to try to avoid outages which is the whole point," Rabhi said.