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September 30, 2022

Tree trimming begins this weekend in Clinton Township, and on Sunday, October 2 crews will be working around Hidden Lane and Thousand Oaks Drive. Trees impacting DTE overhead equipment in this specific area have caused frequent reliability issues in recent years, so our upgrade efforts along the entire circuit will begin there. Neighbors will see DTE crews this weekend working alongside our tree trimming contract partners.

Sunday’s work will require a planned outage from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for 82 customers, to ensure safe working conditions for our overhead crews in the field. Those customers have been contacted directly.

We thank all of you and your neighbors for your patience in this process. Improving the overall reliability of your electrical service is the prime goal here. We’ll continue to keep you updated on our progress right here – so please bookmark this page!

 

 

 

September 28, 2022

 

As DTE tree-trimming is set to begin very soon in Clinton Township, we want to give you an idea of what’s happening now and what’s coming next for your neighborhoods. We asked Joel TerBush, Arborist Supervisor for DTE NW and NE regions, and Scott Lach, Arborist/Facilitator for Mt. Clemens Service Center to join us for some questions and answers that customers might have about the ongoing project.

 

Q: People may have seen DTE and/or contractor personnel in their neighborhood already. What’s been done during the month of September to date?

A: Our tree trim planners have already patrolled the circuit. That’s 17.9-line miles of it, so not small. They will have already identified trees that are priorities for either a trimming or removal. The trees that we have targeted for removal have been marked with two dots. We leave a removal permit for customers to sign, and when we have that done the tree will be marked with an “X” as ready for removal.

Q: Then how soon will actual tree trimming begin in Clinton Township?

A:  We are set to begin October 1 and we have a completion date for all trimming planned for January 1, 2023.

Q: How many crews will people see working in and around their neighborhoods?

A: We will have 20 dedicated crews working this project and in the field daily until completion.

Q: Why is this so important? Why so much emphasis on tree trimming to improve reliability?

A: The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. In areas where we trim back or remove trees that can bring down or impair our overhead power equipment, people can see a massive improvement in their reliability and drop in outages, sometimes as much as 60-70 percent! That makes it worth it.

Q: How do you decide which trees to take down completely?

A: Our tree experts target removing trees that pose a threat to the safety and reliability of our equipment. In addition, trees are also targeted for removal when they require extensive trimming and a removal is the better alternative from a tree health and aesthetics perspective.  While our trimming activities target trees on the right of way, DTE will pursue removals of trees that pose a significant threat to our equipment off right of way.

Q: What about what’s left with cut down branches, etc. What do you do with the by-product of trimming?

A: Several things. For the big pieces, we cut them down to manageable size and stack them neatly on their property. They can either use and burn them, give them away to a neighbor or have them hauled away on their own. We also generate a lot of wood chips, sometimes as much as 12-14 yards of it each day for a single crew. So, lots of wood chips! And many of our customers like to keep those fresh wood chips for landscaping! If not, we haul those wood chips away.

 Q: And the crews prioritize safety as well? That’s priority one, isn’t it?

A: Yes, indeed. They absolutely do and have a great safety record in the field that we are proud of and are intent on keeping.

Q: Is it easier to get this work done in autumn, as opposed to summer or any other time of year?

A: It’s just about ideal as the leaves drop, as the trees are no longer acting as a “sail” during any stormy or windy weather, plus the oak wilt season is now just ended so we can handle well just about any tree species we encounter. While autumn might be ideal, we do trim trees year round, even through the extremes of Michigan’s hot summers and cold winters.

Q: Anything else you want to add for our DTE customers on the circuit in Clinton Township?

A: Just that we look forward to getting this job done well, and trimming up to 3,000 trees to improve customers reliability and service and minimize the chances for future electric power disruptions in Clinton Township.

Q: Thanks, Joel and Scott!

September 15, 2022

 

As we continue our reliability work in your neighborhood, we will continue to update this page with information about our progress. Below is the letter that you recently received. We thought it would be helpful to have it posted here so you can refer back if needed. We look forward to bringing you the reliable energy that your community deserves.

We know our recent electric service in the Clinton Township area has been below the standards you expect to receive and that we strive to deliver.

For that, we sincerely apologize.

I want to give you an update of what’s been causing some of the recent disruptions to your power and what our team is doing to correct the issues.

There have been several interruptions in your area recently involving overgrown trees and branches damaging our equipment. On August 18, a large, dead tree fell on our equipment and caused significant damage. Earlier, in July, animals twice used overgrown trees to get into our overhead equipment, also causing outages. There was also a longer outage involving some residents related to the recent August 29 storm, when 70 mph winds caused more than 265,000 customers to lose power across our service territory. Before and during that interruption, DTE crews were patrolling the lines in your neighborhood to minimize inconvenience for most residents and to restore power safely.

Finally, another equipment problem this past Thursday evening caused about 600 neighbors to lose power briefly during overnight hours before service was restored. That equipment is now in the process of being inspected and replaced.

We believe that overgrown trees and branches are the root cause of the issues plaguing your reliability, including those from the recent storm. Therefore, we are accelerating tree trimming in your neighborhood. We have already sent field crews and engineers out in August to begin inspecting and identifying issues that may affect our overhead equipment. We’ll take that information and map the work that is needed to increase your reliability. Here’s a timeline of what you can expect.

SEPTEMBER:

  • Tree trimming planning will begin and you will start hearing more communication about the timeline and the exact process involving your neighborhood.

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER/DECEMBER:

  • Tree trimming work will begin in Clinton Township and be completed by the end of the calendar year.
  • Equipment upgrades will commence once tree trimming has made DTE equipment more visible and accessible.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly. I can be reached via email at sandeev.sarna@dteenergy.com or contact my team at 313-235-8021. You can also follow progress ongoing on our blog at www.empoweringmichigan.com or by using the QR code contained at the bottom of this letter.

Again, we apologize for the recent disruptions. We are deeply committed to improving our service and reliability in Clinton Township.

Sincerely,

Sandeev Sarna

Director-Regional Customer Operations