State Senator Rick Jones spent several days without electrical service around the holidays after an ice storm in December.
The Grand Ledge Republican said he got good response and outreach from Consumers Energy, it was not so for constituents served by Lansing's Board of Water and Light. "Many of these customers (40,000 estimated who lost power) are my constituents. The board is a very large company that delivers electric to three counties across multiple political subdivisions." The BWL has been criticized for their slow response to bring back service following the December 21st storm. Jones wants them to accept Michigan Public Service Commission oversight.
The senator said a lack of response is only one of his concerns. "It appears their emergency plan is seriously outdated. There's many questions on their not getting adequate help in." The last of the BWL customers off line were waiting for restoration on New Year's Eve. Senator Jones said the utility got in its own way to provide fixes and showed a general lack of awareness. "They couldn't send a truck out from another company unless they had their own personnel with them. They actually to the media and said, 'Turn on your porch lights so we know if your power is out.'"
Jones said he has already begun the process of positive change for his constitutents. "I requested that the bill (for PSC oversight) be drafted Sunday. I hope to have it in a month or two and proceed with hearings on it."