Smart meters for DTE Energy customers

Detroit, MI, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 13, 2007 – DTE Energy is busy finalizing a program that will replace the meters of all its 2.7 million residential customers with smart meters, and installation will start later this year. The utility hopes that introducing time of use rates will encourage customers to shift energy use away from periods of peak demand.

Other reasons for the deployment include avoiding the need to build new power plants, thereby minimizing the utility’s carbon footprint.

At present electric rates in Michigan can only change once a month, in terms of state regulations, and existing meters are read monthly. The smart meters will record hourly usage, however, and will in the future allow DTE Energy to charge customers hourly rates for their electricity usage. The price of power can change by up to 10 cents per kWh over a 24-hour period, depending on demand levels.

The utility expects to achieve savings by doing away with the need to employ meter readers, and will also be able to manage power outages more efficiently.