Thousands of Michigan utility customers have experienced hours or days without power this winter. Many of those customers could be eligible for a $25 credit due to the outage.

The Michigan Attorney General's office says both Consumers Energy and DTE customers may be eligible for a $25 credit if they were without power for more than 16 hours as a result of the recent electric outages.

Here's how it works.

Utility customers are eligible for a credit under “normal conditions” if the utility fails to restore service within 16 hours after an outage resulting from conditions other than "catastrophic conditions."

"Catastrophic conditions" are defined as an event that results in an official state of emergency or an event that results in interruption of 10 percent or more of the utility’s customers and the utility fails to restore power within 120 hours. Some, but not all, recent outages would fall under this classification.

If outages are a regular problem, keeping a detailed record of those outages can help lead to a $25 credit because credits are also available to customers who experience more than seven interruptions in a 12-month period.

To get a credit, customers need to notify their utility company of all service outages. This includes the date and time of each outage, when and how the company was notified of the outage, and when service was restored.

Most people don't keep the kind of detailed records necessary to receive a credit for multiple outages, but this could be a good year to start.

Any customer of an electric utility regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission is eligible for these credits.

Consumers Energy customers can fill out a credit form here.

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