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Taking Action for Utility Accountability: Championing Environmental Justice

Energy Task Force Listening Tour, August 16, FLint Michigan,

At Michigan United, our Environmental Justice team is on a mission to bring about change in the utility industry. We're tackling the economic impact of utilities head-on, and we need your support to make it happen. Our goal? Breaking free from the monopolies held by DTE and Consumers Energy and transitioning to a more sustainable, accountable energy system.

We know it won't be easy in this battle for utility accountability. That's why we've broken down our approach into short-term, mid-term, and long-term objectives.

In the short term, we're focused on three key demands:

  1. No more rate hikes: We're fighting to end the unjustified increase in utility rates, ensuring affordability is within reach.

  2. Fair outage reimbursement: We're advocating for a refund that reflects the losses customers face during power outages.

  3. End to the rooftop solar cap: We aim to remove the 1% cap on rooftop solar installations, giving clean energy a chance to shine.

Looking ahead to the mid-term, we're tackling the influence of corporate donations on political campaigns. By reducing the amount of money DTE and Consumers Energy can contribute, we can shift the focus to achieving green power and ensuring more subsidies, rebates, and incentives for rooftop solar installations. It's time to promote sustainable energy practices and protect our planet.

In the long term, we're determined to break up the utility monopolies and transition towards public power. With more accountability, more communities can enjoy reliable access to electricity. Just look at the 41 cities in Michigan that already utilize public power systems—they experience significantly fewer outages.

How are we making all of this happen? We're actively engaging with local legislators, holding them accountable to our goals. We've had conversations during Capitol Day, and when we found them falling short, we pushed back. We've even rallied at DTE headquarters, joined by influential leaders like Rashida Tlaib. And our bi-weekly committee meetings provide a platform for community members to make their voices heard and contribute to this fight.

We're so proud to share the efforts of the Energy, Communications, and Technology Committee, led by State Representative Helena Scott. This dedicated team conducts Listening Tours across Michigan, connecting with communities to understand their needs and concerns. We're hopeful with their promise to introduce legislation addressing these needs. We'll assess the situation by September and determine if we need to escalate our efforts.

But we can't do this alone. We need you to join us in holding utility companies accountable. Here's how you can take action:

  1. Send a message of support to your state legislator, urging them to prioritize utility accountability.

  2. Let state utility regulators know you oppose any proposed rate hikes by expressing your concerns.

  3. Volunteer your time and actively participate in our efforts to create a more sustainable energy future for all.

For more information and to take action, visit our website: Mi Peoples Campaign - 3 Ways to Hold Utilities Accountable.

Plus, mark your calendar for our upcoming events:

  1. Join our DTE/Consumers Committee Meeting every two weeks to stay engaged and shape our ongoing efforts.

  2. Attend the Listening Tours in Flint on August 16th and Ferndale on August 30th—your feedback and perspective matter.

  3. Save the date for "Victory & Vision: Celebrating Environmental Justice & Charting the Course Ahead" on August 15th. Together, we'll celebrate our wins, strategize for the future, and keep environmental justice at the forefront.

Together, we have the power to make a difference. Let's hold utilities accountable, empower communities, and create a sustainable future for everyone. Join the movement today.

Additional Resources

For more information on the Core City project and to get involved, you can visit:

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