At DTE Energy we believe our job is more than just to bring you energy. It’s also about providing you better customer service through innovative technology.
Since 2008, we have installed more than 2.5 million electric smart meters (also known as advanced meters), equipped with technology that allows us to improve service, provide more accurate readings and allow our customers to have better control over their own energy use. We know that some people may be skeptical of this newer technology, so we’d like to dispel some common myths.
Smart meters are in fact smarter than digital and mechanical meters. They incorporate technology that allows meters to be read remotely. The readings are sent to us via very low-power radio frequency (RF) waves and allow us to provide our customers with bills that are even more accurate than estimated bills, ensuring you only pay for the energy you use.
One concern we’ve heard recently is that some customers’ bills happened to increase year-over-year – after DTE installed a smart meter. But the more likely variable in those cases is the severity of the weather. During colder months, it’s common for people to use space heaters to chase the chills way. Because space heaters run on electricity, you may see an increase in your monthly bill if you use one regularly. DTE’s own meteorologist, Richard Foltman, says that in Southeast Michigan, we went from 11 degrees above normal in December 2015 to 1 degree below normal in December 2016 – a net change of 12 degrees from one year to the next. That swing in temperatures could easily account for a difference in the bills that customers received in January year-over-year.
Not only are smart meters more accurate and efficient, they also give you the power to control your energy usage. Using the free DTE Insight app you can see exactly how much energy you’re using. The app links your smartphone or tablet to the smart meter to show your energy usage patterns and more.
When you add the DTE Energy Bridge, you’ll see your energy use in real-time and find ways to cut down your usage. Customers who install this device and actively use the app are reducing their energy usage on average up to 10 percent each month. This energy savings means a lower energy bill and that means more money in your pocket.
This innovative technology also allows completion of same day customer requested turn-ons/disconnects, which means faster, less intrusive service. Customers no longer will have to wait for a service technician to stop or start service at their homes and businesses.
And during power outages, smart meter technology helps DTE work crews get the lights back on quicker. The meters notify us immediately if there is a power outage, helping us to pinpoint any problems and restore your power as quickly and safely as possible.
As a customer-focused company, DTE Energy is committed to providing you with safe, reliable, affordable energy. We’re also committed to helping you keep your energy bills under control. We’re continuously working to find new ways to make rates more affordable and give you more choice and more control over your energy.