LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Utility officials from DTE and Consumers Energy were back at the Michigan Capitol on Thursday, pledging to improve their response time in restoring energy after a major storm like the one last month.

In addition to apologizing for the delay in turning the power back on after the storm, DTE and Consumers Energy officials promised they would learn from this experience and pledged to do better next time.

The chair of the state agency that regulates the utilities basically took what amounted to a “don’t blame us” stance, making it clear that the commission has limited control to address this outage duration problem.

“We set rates, but not budgets. We approve what utilities can collect from their customers, but there is a limited ability to make management decisions about where those dollars go,” said Public Service Commission Chairperson Dan Scripps.

Scripps told the Senate committee the state will do a first-time independent audit of the state’s utility system, but admitted the final report with any recommendations on how to better handle future storms will be a year down the road.

The COO of Consumers Energy did not attend this Senate session and missed the one in the House last week, but one VP did state that the company “can’t control the weather.”

Lawmakers may introduce legislation to give the state more power over utility decisions.