Installation of high-tech electric meters that will change the way DTE Energy
receives power usage information and increase customers' control over energy use has begun in Oakland County.
Over the next several months about 350,000 meters will be placed at homes and businesses in 25 communities: Berkley, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Birmingham, Clawson, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Franklin, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Madison Heights, Northville, Novi, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak, Royal Oak Township, Southfield, Southfield Township, Troy, Walled Lake, and Wixom.
This portion of the installation of the "smart" meters come at a cost of about $168 million, half of it from a Smart Grid Investment Grant
from the U.S. Department of Energy. The meters will form what DTE Energy is calling "the backbone" of its SmartCurrents
program. DTE's matching $84 million grant helps achieve a nationwide effort to update the country's electrical grid.
The meters will provide detailed information about energy usage directly to DTE, recognize power outages without customer input, and allow DTE to quickly locate and repair outages and other service problems. The meters will nearly eliminate estimated billing and allow for service to be remotely connected or disconnected rather than requiring appointments with technicians.
In addition, technology will be wired into the meters to allow customers to better manage their energy usage and bills. The SmartCurrents technology can be tied to similarly "smart" appliances, thermostats, and such. The DOE funding will allow DTE Energy to offer an in-home display product and special thermostats to nearly 1,500 customers. Check out smartcurrents.com
for more information.
DTE has installed about 250,000 meters so far in Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Commerce Township, Grosse Ile, Harsen's Island, and West Bloomfield Township. By early 2012 a total of about 600,000 meters will have been installed.Source: Scott Simons, spokesman, DTE Energy
Writer: Kim North Shine