Vince Dow, DTE Energy vice president of Distribution Operations, says the company’s SmartCurrents program “gives us the tools to improve our service for both business and residential customers. This technology will allow us to quickly locate and reduce the length of power outages and other problems, virtually eliminate estimated bills through automated meter reading and remotely connect and disconnect service, which means faster, less intrusive service.”
The additional meters will be deployed in 25 Oakland County communities starting in April. Currently, DTE Energy has installed arounf a quarter million meters in Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Commerce Township, Grosse Ile, Harsen’s Island, and West Bloomfield Township. When the latest roll out is finished in early 2012, close to 600,000 meters will have been installed.
The meter technology serves as a platform to provide remote monitoring of the electric distribution system and enable customers to more efficiently and cost effectively manage their energy usage and bills. Other electrical equipment will also be installed so DTE Energy can remotely monitor the electrical system.
The project is being partially funded through an $84 million United States Department of Energy (DOE) Smart Grid Investment Grant, which is a national initiative to improve the country’s electrical grid. The grant, which is being matched by DTE Energy, allows the utility to accelerate its deployment of Smart Grid technology.
The SmartCurrents program will incorporate new technologies and products, besides advanced metering technology, such as smart appliances, thermostats and control units so customers can monitor their energy usage.