Our lives run on electricity. From working to watching tv to spending time with family, electricity powers the way we live. DTE Energy is committed to ensuring you have the power you need and the reliability you deserve. That is why we are investing in upgrading our electric grid across our service territory.
In some communities, that means installing new electric distribution systems. During this process, we completely remove and replace the overhead and/or underground distribution systems, including the utility poles, wires, transformers, and other electric equipment that help deliver power to homes and businesses. Rebuilding these systems will increase electric reliability, safety and capacity to meet customers’ growing energy needs. Here is what customers in those communities can expect.
- System design: Our engineers will visit your community to evaluate the infrastructure and design the new system to best fit the community’s needs. This portion of the process will not affect your power, but you may notice DTE workers in your neighborhood or yard.
- Tree trimming: After the design phase is complete, we will prepare to construct the new distribution system. Sometimes, crews must do extensive tree trimming to clear the way for the new equipment. The good news is this will help improve your electric reliability even before the new system is installed. Arborists will be in your neighborhood to evaluate and mark trees that need to be trimmed or removed and will return later to complete the trimming work. Read more on DTE’s tree trimming process.
- Construction: Now it is time to build the new system. DTE crews and contractors will return to your neighborhood to completely remove and replace the underground and/or overhead electric distribution systems, including poles, wires, transformers and more. This process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the size of the community. Crews may need access to the equipment in or around your yard to complete the work. To keep your power on and reliable during construction, we wait until a whole section of the new distribution system is built before moving your power from the old system to the new. For overhead systems, that means you will see poles next to poles for a while. Do not worry, we will remove those old poles before the work is complete.
During construction, customers also may experience some partial road closures and short outages. We will do our best to give you advance notice of outages and road closures. Unfortunately, unexpected challenges may come up during the work, and for the safety of the crews, we may need to interrupt power for a brief period. Our crews will knock on doors to let customers know before interrupting their power.
- Conversion: Once construction is finished and the new system is in place, we will begin switching customers over to the new electric distribution system(s). DTE crews may need access to your yard to complete the work. DTE will restore customer property where work has occurred, as necessary. Restoration may include reseeding lawns, replacing damaged cement, etc. The conversion also will require a planned outage of up to two hours. We will notify customers ahead of the conversion via email and phone calls. During the conversion, crews also may knock on your door to work with you on outage times or details.
Please note, throughout this process, DTE crews and contractors will not need access inside your home — DTE representatives will be wearing a high-visibility vest and carrying an ID badge.
We will continue to notify customers on the progress of their project, so please ensure your contact information is up to date on your DTE account at dteenergy.com.
Get more of your questions about this process answered at empoweringmichigan.com/the-big-switch. Additionally, DTE is doing an assortment of infrastructure improvement work across our service territory to ensure our customers have reliable power. Learn more about work happening in your community at empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements.