DTE Energy fined $840,000 for violating billing
January 16th, 2019 | By Roger Kuznia
January 16th, 2019 | By Roger Kuznia
Sometimes it can feel like you’re powerless when working with power companies. But DTE Energy customers scored a win recently when the Michigan Public Service Commission fined the utility company $840,000 for violating the commission’s rules governing billing and shutoff practices.
MPSC opened an investigation in December 2017 after receiving customer complaints that “DTE Electric and DTE Gas disconnected utility service and possibly violated the Consumer Standards and Billing Practices for Electric and Natural Gas Service after the utility began using its new billing system in April 2017.”
DTE’s internal investigation found that a billing system defect caused approximately 5,000 customers to lose service after getting just one shutoff notice when state rules require two.
“The Commission has great concern when utilities violate customer protection rules,” MPSC chairperson Sally Talberg said in a statement. “The rules are important, fair, and common-sense protections for customers. This settlement resolves outstanding issues regarding illegal disconnections and billing mistakes, and it requires DTE Energy to be transparent and timely in meeting the significant requirements in the agreement. The MPSC will closely monitor DTE to make sure the settlement is fully implemented to provide customers the expected energy service and billing programs that are required under the law.”
DTE must refund deposits and reconnection fees, plus interest, to customers whose power was improperly shut off. The power provider must conduct audits of its processes through 2020. The company also must replace by December 2019 the meters of customers who have opted out of having their meter read by radio frequency. Those customers will not be charged for the replacement of those meters and will instead have their meter read via a DTE worker’s home visit.
While DTE’s wrongs are being corrected with customers, this is a reminder for DTE customers that you now have a choice when it comes to where you get your energy. By going solar with help from Pink Energy, you can considerably cut how much you pay DTE and instead start paying for a product that you can own, insulating yourself against the inevitable future rate increases DTE will pass along to customers.
When you go solar with Pink Energy, you electric bill will remain the same until your panels are paid off. And once that happens, you will be generating completely free energy to you! This process is how the average customer can save tens of thousands of dollars in going solar.
Pink Energy is proud to serve customers in Michigan. We’ve developed a partnership with the Detroit Lions, having installed solar panels on the parking garage at Ford Field and at the company’s headquarters in Allen Park in 2018, and we also were recently named the state’s Emerging Business of the Year by the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. We are proud to build a movement of clean, green solar energy, one solar panel at a time. On top of that, we’re the state’s largest installer of residential solar panels, and we have even opened a commercial division as well!
With our innovative solar program, homeowners can go solar for $0 up-front cost, save money on their electric bills, and generate their own clean energy. The solar panels installed on your home are American-made and come with a 30-year warranty, with many panels expected to last well beyond that.
Please feel free to fill out the form below or contact Pink Energy at (877) 4-GO-Pink, and one of our solar representatives will help you determine whether your home qualifies for this program.
Own your power! Don’t let DTE own you.