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DTE Energy's Critical Infrastructure Work to Improve Reliability

March 9, 2020
Customers had a 65% improvement in reliability in most areas where trees were trimmed.

DTE Energy’s customers from Michigan’s Thumb to Monroe, Detroit to Ann Arbor, experienced improved reliability in 2019 after the company completed infrastructure upgrade projects across the 7,600 square miles in its Southeast Michigan territory. In most areas where trees were trimmed, customers had a 65% improvement in reliability.  

“Since the tree trim program, our reliability has turned around and we have seen significant improvement,” said Paul Sincock, City Manager of Plymouth. “The whole community is in a better place.”

In 2019, DTE trimmed more than 4,000 miles of trees, the distance from Detroit to Las Vegas and back.

“Replacing utility poles and wires and upgrading other equipment all improve service and make the energy grid more resilient to possible damage caused by weather – but nothing is more impactful for customers than trimming trees,”

said Heather Rivard, senior vice president, Distribution Operations, DTE Energy. “We are balancing affordability while doing all that we can to make the grid stronger, smarter and more resilient to keep the lights on for our customers.”

Important infrastructure work also completed in 2019 includes:

  • Upgraded nearly 130 miles of our oldest circuits to the latest construction standards, improving reliability for customers.
  • Made significant improvements on 230 circuits with some of the lowest reliability levels, improving system performance for approximately 150,000 customers.
  • Inspected 64,000 poles. Strong, sturdy utility poles are the backbone of a reliable electric system.

Additionally, the energy company is in the process of implementing an advanced distribution management system. It will allow DTE to better manage the energy grid and restore power more quickly.

“We know we still have a lot of work to do, but we are committed to completing infrastructure upgrades to provide our customers safe, reliable and affordable service, as well as the peace of mind they deserve,” Rivard added.

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