80,606 Accounts Shut Off in 2020; Media Outlet Seeks Detroit Residents Struggling to Pay Their Electric Bills

By B.N. Frank

COVID mandates and restrictions have made it difficult and sometimes impossible for countless Americans to afford their bills.  One media outlet wants to hear from Detroit residents who are struggling to pay for their electricity.

From ProPublica:


Are You Having Trouble Paying Electric Bills in Detroit? Please Share Your Story.

An energy provider based in Detroit shut off 80,606 electric accounts last year, even during the hottest and coldest months of the pandemic. Without electricity, people suffer. If you’re a customer of a Detroit-area electric provider, we want to hear from you.

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Outlier Media is a Detroit-based service journalism organization. Do you need help finding resources or information in Detroit? Use Outlier’s text-message-based info service by texting DETROIT to 73224.

Many Detroiters can’t afford to pay their electric bills.

In 2020, DTE Energy shut off 80,606 electric accounts for nonpayment. This happened even in the hottest and coldest months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are looking into DTE because without electricity, people suffer. In contrast to DTE, the city of Detroit agreed to halt water shutoffs until the end of 2022 to help people make it through the pandemic.

If you use DTE or Consumers Energy for electricity, reporters at Outlier Media and ProPublica need to hear from you: Have debt collectors called you because of an electric bill? If your electricity was shut off, how long were you left in the dark? Do you have shut-off notices you can share?

If you need help filling out this form or want to share over the phone, please call: 313-314-6578.


Coincidentally, Michigan customers have a long history of difficulties with their utility companies and their companies’ “Smart” Meters (see 1, 2, 3, 4).

At least 57% of Americans have “Smart” Meters installed on their homes and throughout their communities.  These meters have been associated with HIGHER bills (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) fires (see 1, 2, 3), explosions, and other extremely undesirable issues.

Utility companies tend to increase customer rates for “Smart” Meter installation and frequent replacement.  Research has determined that they DO NOT save significant amounts of energy.

Nevertheless utility companies continue to promote these devices as being beneficial to customers because “Smart” Meters are very profitable to them.

Earlier this year ProPublica asked all Americans to share their obscenely high utility bills with them.  Maybe if these journalists get enough complaints about “Smart” Meters, they’ll write something up specifically about them.  (Hint hint!)



Opposition to “Smart” Meters – electric, gas, and water – is worldwide.  Documentary Take Back Your Power provides more details about these awful devices.  It is free to watch online.

Activist Post reports regularly about “Smart” Meters and other unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

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