Today, DTE Energy reported strong first quarter 2017 earnings of $400 million, compared with $247 million in 2016. Reported earnings were higher driven in large part by DTE Energy’s businesses outside of its utilities.
The company experienced the largest weather event in its more than 100-year history in early March when unseasonably warm temperatures combined with sustained tropical storm force winds gusting to 70 mph pounded Michigan for 12 hours. With 800,000 customers impacted, thousands of DTE employees along with out-of-state crews from seven states worked around the clock to restore customers.
“Given the size of this wind storm, I couldn’t be more proud of our employees and the out-of-state crews who worked so hard to restore power to our customers. We will continue to make investments to strengthen and automate our system to prevent future outages and improve the speed of our restoration efforts for customers,” said Gerry Anderson, DTE chairman and CEO.
Anderson also noted recent company accomplishments:
- Renewable energy investments continue, begin operation: DTE began commercial operation of its 50 megawatt Wind Park in Huron County, generating enough energy to power 22,000 homes. This brings the number of DTE owned or operated wind parks to 13 across Michigan. This year, the company will finish work on a $100 million solar project in Lapeer, which is the largest utility owned array in Michigan. Once this project is completed, DTE Energy’s entire renewable energy portfolio, including solar, wind and biomass, will be large enough to power 450,000 homes, or a city more than four times the size of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- MDOT collaboration saves Michigan $2 million annually: DTE Energy partnered with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to re-light Michigan roads. The six-month project involved DTE installing more than 13,000 LED lights above Michigan freeways and overpasses. The lighting upgrade is expected to save MDOT and Michigan residents an estimated $2 million in energy costs annually beginning this year.
- Customers save on natural gas: DTE Energy customers will see the cost of natural gas drop nearly 9 percent in their April gas bills due to the downward trend of natural gas prices. Over the past 10 years, residential customers’ overall natural gas bills have dropped by 27 percent, or about $300 annually, as the cost for the natural gas DTE buys has declined.
- We continue to upgrade infrastructure: In 2016, DTE Energy gas crews replaced 140 miles of cast iron gas lines with new polyethylene lines. We are on track to meet this goal again in 2017. In total, the effort, which enhances the company’s natural gas infrastructure by increasing reliability, employs more than 300 people, either at DTE or in other Michigan-based companies.
- Gallup recognizes us again as a Great Workplace: DTE was recognized again by the Gallup organization as a Gallup Great Workplace for the fifth consecutive year. This award is given to only a handful of companies worldwide for their extraordinary ability to create a highly engaged workplace culture. DTE remains the only utility company ever recognized by the Gallup organization.
In the news release issued this morning, DTE reiterated its 2017 operating earnings per share guidance of $5.15 – $5.46. “While our winter was warmer than expected and we experienced a historic wind storm, our continued focus on operational cost savings will allow us to achieve our financial goals and improve service levels for our customers,” said Peter Oleksiak, senior vice president and CFO.
This earnings announcement, as well as a package of slides and supplemental information, is available at dteenergy.com/investors.