LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The state wants utilities to discuss potential changes to the way they handle service shutoffs after the death of a Detroit-area man.
The Michigan Public Service Commission said Monday companies should submit ways to better reach elderly residents who are most at risk during a shutoff in extreme weather.
The body of 69-year-old John Skelley was discovered in February in a Hazel Park home where natural gas service had been shut off. He died of hypothermia and other causes.
Consumers Energy says it sent three notices before cutting service, but Skelley wasn’t the customer of record and the utility was unaware he lived there. Service was cut on Jan. 19, and Skelley was discovered unresponsive, huddled under blankets in front of a space heater at around 8 a.m. on Feb. 1. The high temperature was 18 with a low of 2 degrees on the day he died.
Vanessa Waters, a spokeswoman for DTE Energy, told reporters that the company welcomes the chance to “review, learn and share best practices.”
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