DTE Energy's investments in smart meters, smart technologies and overall infrastructure modernization have improved service quality, resulting in 70 percent more reliable power for customers in 2016 compared to 2014. These energy grid projects mark a milestone in a multi-year plan to provide reliable energy for customers while keeping rates below the national average.
DTE now has the ability to know the health of its electric system in real time, flag and correct equipment problems before an outage occurs and learn about outages instantaneously. New and upgraded substations also are allowing the company to serve more customers, making Southeast Michigan a smart choice for new and growing businesses.
"By taking actions to modernize our grid now, we are creating a smarter, more reliable system that will be prepared for Michigan's energy needs today and in the future," said Heather Rivard, senior vice president, Distribution Operations, DTE Energy.
DTE will continue its work throughout 2017 and beyond to assure customers are receiving safe, reliable, secure and affordable energy.
In 2016, DTE Energy:
- Installed more than 3,500 new smart grid sensors and other technology. New technologies help make the grid smarter and more responsive by monitoring power lines and assessing the health of the system so problems can be corrected before they occur, or be responded to more effectively when they do.
- Began construction on four new substations and upgraded equipment in many other substations. DTE is improving substations and building new modern ones to prepare for increased customer demand in fast-growing areas such as Midtown Detroit and Ann Arbor.
- Upgraded equipment on over 200 customer-serving circuits, and replaced approximately 3,000 utility poles to strengthen reliability. DTE is using new designs and materials that can better stand up to Michigan's variety of severe weather, ultimately reducing storm damage and power outages.
- Trimmed 650,000 trees. Recently trimmed areas have seen reliability improve by more than 70 percent. Trees can interfere with power lines and significantly damage equipment; toppled trees and branches are responsible for two-thirds of the time DTE customers spend without power. DTE, a leader in tree-planting initiatives across Michigan, provides customers with a guide to planting the right tree in the right place, and recommends planting only low-growing trees near and under power lines.
- Completed multi-year installation of more than 2.4 million electric smart meters. Smart meters provide customers with real time information on energy use through DTE's mobile Insight app, while helping DTE to pinpoint outages quicker and restore customers faster.
"We made great progress in 2016, and hit substantial milestones, but our work is not done," said Rivard. "We are committed to implementing infrastructure upgrades that will result in stronger reliability and peace of mind for our customers."