Residential electric ratepayers in Michigan have experienced many frustrating years of high costs and poor customer service. Because of what is effectively a residential electric monopoly market in Michigan, Sen. Colbeck believes that utility users deserve to be treated fairly when it comes to rates and must be able to receive reasonable accommodations when it comes to equipment placed onto their property. Ultimately, the monopoly-like markets in Michigan need to be changed so that ratepayers don’t feel like captive customers who can’t seek service from another provider when they receive poor service.
For that reason Sen. Colbeck voted against SB 437 & SB 438 last session because the bills didn’t do enough to help customers (and in some cases made things worse). He also offered an amendment to allow for necessary and reasonable accommodations when it came to true meter choice. Although the amendment failed to get enough votes to pass, the Senator has remained a strong consumer advocate and has persistently worked with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to fight for lower rates, stronger rules, shut-off protections, and investigations into utilities. The MPSC opened an official inquiry into DTE practices late last year. Senator Colbeck has also advocated for municipalities to retain local control over telecommunication matters because the potential negative effects of newer equipment need to be more thoroughly evaluated by the government and not merely rubber stamped by the state.
The primary purpose of government per our Declaration of Independence is to secure the rights of the governed. Being able to give electric ratepayers real choices and ensuring effective regulation for safety and welfare is critically important, especially when it comes to residential customers and safety matters taking place at their homes.
Power to the people October 19, 2017
The ‘Power’ of Freedom January 13, 2016
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