(WXYZ) — Dozens of metro Detroiters gathered at a meeting Tuesday night to express outrage over a proposed rate hike from DTE.
The company is proposing a $388 million increase from residential customers, which is an 8.8% increase (year-over-year) or a $10 increase per month for consumers.
"I'm 27 years old. I've got my own business. I'm a homeowner. But when I get my bill, I want to go back home to my mother," one outraged DTE customer said.
"We want DTE to hear the stories of real people who are living through the everyday struggle of paying these electric bills," Executive Director of Michigan People's Campaign Ken Whittaker said.
"I'm asking you, deny this rate increase and let DTE figure it out from inside. Take that $15 million, rearrange it somehow, but don't take it out of our pockets," another angry customer adds.
DTE was listening to it all of their arguments but say the rate hike is necessary to upgrade the grid and to improve the reliability of their service after the mass outages last summer.
"The grid needs investment so every so often you have to go in and do necessary maintenance and necessary repairs," Rodney Cole with DTE Energy said.
Nearly 3 million customers would be impacted by the 8.8% increase, but the decision on whether or not it will happen will not come until November.
"We can't even pay bus fare to get here which is $2 so please do not raise our bills," Detroit resident Monique Taylor said.