For most, power is simplified down to flipping a light switch or plugging in a phone charger. But what’s happening behind the scenes to assure that light comes on, or that phone starts charging, are high-tech advancements to DTE’s energy grid.

Michigan’s last major electrical infrastructure investment occurred between 1940 and 1970. Fast forward to today’s communities and economy, we recognize our customers’ demands have progressed. To keep our commitment of providing safe, reliable and affordable power, we’re heavily invested in improving our infrastructure and utilizing new technology to “smarten” our energy grid.

As part of DTE’s five-year $4.2 billion infrastructure upgrade strategy, we’ve started using several smart technologies that are making our work more efficient, while also greatly benefiting you, our customers.

The technologies we’re installing on the energy grid, like sensors and smart meters, along with new computer systems we’re implementing internally, are helping us to better understand the health of the electric system in “real” time. This means we can identify and correct equipment problems and learn about outages before customers reports them.

In addition, we’re an industry leader in installing smart meters, with more than 3 million already in use. Smart meters provide a wide range of customer benefits including:

  • Up-to-date and accurate information to help customers track and control their energy usage, resulting in lower bills
  • Reduced length of power outages
  • Remote connect and disconnect service

We’re also building a new Electric System Operations Center to create a collaborative work space for our system operators and dispatch teams to quickly and efficiently respond to outages. Opening in fall 2020, it’ll be an integral part of our five-year distribution upgrade and modernization plan, and will deliver the world-class amenities, capabilities and security our customers deserve.

These technologies, along with our improved infrastructure and tree trimming efforts, will create a smarter, more integrated, grid that will improve reliability and system performance through real-time awareness and a controllable distribution grid.

By using technology to build on our long-term investment to improve the quality of power our customers receive, we’re also positively impacting Michigan’s economy and providing peace of mind as we prepare to better serve our customers in the future with high quality, reliable energy.