DTE to Offer Information in Woods Wednesday

A meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in Grosse Pointe Woods involving officials from DTE, Grosse Pointe Woods and the state's Public Service Commission concerning the lack of consistent service to certain areas.

residents are invited and encouraged to attend a meeting Wednesday at the Community Center during which DTE officials will explain what caused a weekend long power outage to the neighborhood plagued by such power failures for years.

DTE officials are also expected to explain their plan to address the problem to ensure reliable, consistent service. The meeting is in mid-July during a council meeting in which residents and business owners shared their dissatisfaction about their service.

The information is to address specifically the neighborhood northeast of the Mack and Vernier intersection, which serves about 1,200 DTE customers.

Wednesday's meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., follows a meeting Grosse Pointe Woods Mayor Robert Novitke, Woods City Administrator Al Fincham and City Manager Shane Reeside had last week with the Michigan Public Service Commission, which regulates public utility companies.

The Commission has been in contact with DTE regarding the problems in the Woods, Fincham said, explaining what information he and the mayor found out during their meeting.

Additionally, Public Service Commission representatives shared that DTE intends to split the circuit serving the neighborhood plagued for decades by outages so fewer customers will be on each circuit and therefore ideally making service more reliable.

There had been discussion of this previously and it became of concern again that lasted longer than DTE officials anticipated. At that time, Fincham said not only are the power outages an inconvenience but there are safety concerns related to residents. Among those of particular concern are residents at or others who may be in need of power for life-maintaining machines, he said.

DTE had promised city officials the that night--depending upon the location within the grid.

Inaccurate restoration estimates are among the other complaints voiced by residents and at least one business owner following the weekend outage in early July. During that outage the restoration estimates were changed every few hours and then finally on that Sunday morning Woods public safety officers went could be determined because all fixes were failing.

Similar to the delay in restoring power then in late August with the downed tree and wire.

According to information provided to the Michigan Public Service Commission by DTE, officials have:

  • Already begun on the circuit to split it into two, according to the information provided by the Public Service Commission, and completion of the project is expected in the summer of 2013. The project is estimated to cost about $400,000.
  • Additionally, DTE had installed additional fuses to the circuit in December 2011 to improve the circuit--a project that cost $40,000.

Fincham said representatives from both DTE and the Michigan Public Service Commission are expected to attend Wednesday night. As a result, power was ultimately restored after DTE workers transferred the circuit to an alternate circuit and relay circuits have already been replaced.

The two-hour meeting with the Public Service Commission was described by Fincham as "very good."

Pete Waldmeir, GP Woods September 12, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Who saves the receipts for everything they have in the freezer? Most families have stuff in there that they haven't seen for months. And what was there during the power outages already has been tossed out.
Gloria September 12, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Well, I guess next time I will have to take the time to take pictures of all the food I had to throw out then. I agree - no one keeps all their receipts! They should at least have to pay a minumum reimbursement for folks who do not have their receipts. That at least would be fair since they caused the outage in the first place!
GP For Life September 12, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Gloria, I know what you mean. I lost 16 lbs of Matsusaka beef, 32 lbs of buffalo mozzarella, and 250 Olympia oysters. Unfortunately, despite the unique nature of these foods, I don't have any proof of my purchases. I've called DTE several times and have gotten no response. Mark, do you have any suggestions on how I should handle this?
Bradley Coopersmith September 12, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Does this address all the woods or just the problem section north of vernier and east of mack?
MRSPirateLarz September 12, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I have been told repeatedly by DTE that they will not give the credit out for the July outage because it was an act of Nature.... and when I call the number on the letter from DTE to address the situation they never return the call (big surprise!) I am PISSED and plan on asking these DTE officials where my credit is for the July outage tonight at the meeting. Grrrrr...... ( I plan on waging "war" on DTE if I have to if these problems do not get satisfactorily resolved).
walden schmidt September 12, 2012 at 04:14 PM
You have to file a claim with DTE. More info on their site. http://www.dteenergy.com/residentialCustomers/problemsSafety/outageCenter/claims.html If you are not satisfied, file a complaint with the MPSC. http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,4639,7-159-16377---,00.html
Chris K September 12, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I have a feeling that any loss from the most recent power outage will not be compensated either. A fallen tree is also an act of nature unless a line trimmer for DTE felled the branch. Good luck to all those who attend. Don't let them give you their PR BS as they did when they were at the city council meeting a couple months ago. They are VERY good at that !
Mark September 12, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Good citizens and neighbors I implore you to settle down. I have been assured that each every one of you affected will be justly compensated for loss of goods and monthly statements rectified. So it is written so it shall pass.
MRSPirateLarz September 12, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Mark, who has assured you? And I would like to put forth that it is still saying on my "account" that I do not have any credit given for the July outage and I am still not receiving a phone call from the credit representative at DTE nor is that said representative answering the phone so I am extremely curious as to who has assured you so that I can decide whether or not to get my hopes up.
Diane Smith September 12, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I believe Mark is being facetious. But, he has a long way to go to keep up with GP for Life in the humor dept.
Mark September 12, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Alas! Someone with sense. My tongue in cheek response to a tongue in cheek question really got out of control.
GP For Life September 12, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Thank you kindly for your compliment, Ms. Smith. It is nice to see women of class and breeding with such a refined sense of humor.
Gloria September 13, 2012 at 01:06 PM
GREAT meeting ... Some great ideas.... DTE Representatives were crucified! 1. Many residents complained about low voltage that is causing their appliances to burn out prematurely. 2. Owner of Champs was their with a 3 ring binder called DTE OUTAGES... he had metrics for over 30 years to share on how these outages have occurred repeatedly! 3. One man suggested that an escrow account be set up and the money used to pay DTE but before that it should be used to compensate residents for losses 4. NO one in the audience has yet to be compensated by DTE for losses of food or appliances 5. DTE stated they had 30 person task force looking into the problem! That got a howl from the audience. 6. DTE stated it would be a 2 year plan to resolve the issue 7. Residents pushed back saying it was only a band aid! 8. One person stated we need to hold council accountable... if they could not fix the issue they should go! 9 Novikie said that 2 state representatives were in the audience from Lansing. One person was angry that all they did was sit there and not contribute to the problem 10 An individual from St Clair Shores responded by saying - I am shocked and horrified at this situation has gone on so long 11. One person said there should be a class action lawsuit put against DTE 12. One individual stated we should approach Consumers Energy to take over! 13 DET had 2 individuals at the back of the room taking names and info fro claims
Gloria September 13, 2012 at 01:06 PM
14 Residents complained their claims go into a black hole! 15 Tree trimming was brought up as they are not doing enough of it... their representative stated residents will not let their crews in to trim trees... what a crock! 16 DTE stated claims should be made to their insurance companies... then push back came as residents stated that would make their rates increase.... not to mention deductibles need to be paid.... 17. One person had a great idea to make the news aware of the ongoing issues with DTE. My sister mentioned Ruth to he Rescue! GREAT IDEA! 18 One new GPW resident was welcomed to the 'blackout' community!
MRSPirateLarz September 13, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I am writing a letter to all the news outlets in the area (the patch included), our senator and representative, our city council, the MPSC, and DTE. I am hoping that I can get a large number of city residents to sign the letter. Any thoughts on how best to obtain the signatures? Or should I just go door-to-door?
Gloria September 13, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I would first start with the sign-in list from last nights meeting. Demand the city give you copies or if they charge you scan the lists with your smart phone! Then I would go door to door! Many residents who were impacted were NOT at the meeting yesterday and they need to be notified! They deserve financial compensation for lost food and appliances! We need a break on our bill or financial compensation. At the meeting last night DTE said they would only get back to those who were at the meeting and filed a complaint for compensation. Any one else's claim seemed to go into a black hole! No one at the meeting ever said they were reimbursed by DTE! They have to be held accountable! Worse yet, they want to raise our taxes yet can not even provide reliable electric service... what is wrong with this picture?
MRSPirateLarz September 13, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Good idea Gloria, I will see if I can get that list. I was one of the people who could not attend the meeting last night so thank you for posting such a good summary on what occurred at the meeting. If anyone would like to offer input on the letter, sign the letter, etc... please email me at nosfera203@yahoo.com
GP For Life September 13, 2012 at 03:59 PM
It seems like DTE did a wonderul job of assuaging your concerns.
Gloria September 13, 2012 at 04:04 PM
I was not directly impacted by the outages but my sister was... I talked her into moving her from St Clair Shores. She has had 6 outages since she has moved here two years ago! I also posted a blog about the lack of tree trimming by DTE incase that is useful to you. http://grossepointe.patch.com/blog_posts/lack-of-tree-trimming-by-dte-can-lead-to-power-outages
MRSPirateLarz September 13, 2012 at 04:05 PM
OH! DTE did a wonderful job! I never knew such a large utility company could be so compassionate and human. I can not wait for my power to go out again so I can reward them for such outstanding service and reliability by paying the over-inflated bill. We should really reach out to the Nobel Prize committee to request a special award go to DTE.
MRSPirateLarz September 13, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Thank you!
Gloria September 13, 2012 at 04:27 PM
A couple of noteworthy comments from the PATCH Facebook page: Now a resident says he's put up with this problem for 48 years. Tells DTE employees to treat the grid as if it's a 1903 christmas tree, where one bulb goes out and the whole strand fails. He says the grid needs to be a 2012 strand of lights that will not fail. Grosse Pointe Shores councilman and retired DTE employee Robert Barrette just addressed the table of employees from DTE asking why none of the directors/decision makers are present at the meeting. He worked for the company for 40+years and understands the technical side of system--he told them clearly there is a problem based on what the engineer told the crowd earlier.
Gloria September 13, 2012 at 04:40 PM
19. One resident was curious why he could use his smart phone to control the temperature in his home yet DTE did not have the ability to remotely monitor for outages and low/high voltage scenarios!
Gloria September 13, 2012 at 04:49 PM
20. Another resident commented due to tree trimming by DTE subcontractors lead to the recent outage... Her question: Why would DTE contract such an unprofessional organization when GPW has tree trimming companies certified to work in this area. She did not get a reply/response.
Elanger September 13, 2012 at 06:52 PM
We need to keep this in the news and we need to keep contacting the city council so this does not continue to be brushed under the rug! We should not all have to get generators; we pay for electricity!!
Gloria September 13, 2012 at 06:58 PM
No problem paying for a generator... we just send the bill to DTE!
terry e moreno September 14, 2012 at 07:46 PM
After the summer blackout in the Vernier/ Mack area I had a service problem that I had to call DTE out for. I talked to the service men who came out about all the power problems we've had. I asked them if it would be a good idea to invest in a generator system. Both of them agreed that I should get a good one as we'll probably be needing it on a regular basis. They lead me to believe that DTE will not invest the time or the money unless the state mandates them to do so. All they will do is continue to patch the problems as they occure. I'm now in the process of getting quotes for a whole house generator system on their advice.
Gloria September 15, 2012 at 01:50 PM
If you would be so kind can you offer the information on quotes? I would like to share that information with my sister. I got a call from a 1-800 number yesterday... I 888-689-9306. I almost did not answer it... It was DTE calling about how I liked their service. My answer was the following.... NO - I DO NOT like their service! He asked why... my response was: As you probably already know we are plagued with outages in this area and people are being forced to purchase generators due to lack of reliable service. He asked was it the number of outages or the duration that is the major lack of dis-satisfaction. My response: BOTH. He then asked if he could have a DTE manager call me directly in the next few days. Of course I said YES. However, I explained if all it was going to be was lip service with out real action to solve the problem or compensation for lost appliances and food it might be just another way to skirt the real issue. I also told him about the tree that caught fire in the house behind me... and caused the lines to catch fire resulting in 15 minutes of brownout conditions! We will see if I get a call back... if I do, I will post the resulting information.
MRSPirateLarz September 16, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Anyone who would like to sign the letter to DTE please email your name (address optional) to mackvernierpowergrid@gmail.com
Gloria September 17, 2012 at 11:16 AM
Will do!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »