DTE Energy to install 120,000 smart meters at Washtenaw County homes
The meters allow the Detroit-based utility to remotely monitor power outages — instead of relying on customers to call — and remotely monitor usage, reducing the need for meter readers.
This month, DTE will start installing "advanced electric meters" at homes in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. In March, workers will start installing meters in Ann Arbor Township and Barton Hills. In April, they'll start installing meters in Dexter, Dexter Township and Scio Township.
Crews will start installing meters in Saline, Saline Township, Superior Township and Whitmore Lake in May, followed by Chelsea, Manchester, Milan and York Township in June.
Washtenaw County has about 134,161 households, according to recent U.S. Census data.
Scott Simons, a DTE spokesman, said in an email that the company "is absorbing the cost of the new meters through greater operational efficiencies gained by the meters."
DTE said more than 1 million of its customers would have smart meters by the end of 2013.
“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," said Vince Dow, DTE Energy vice president for distribution operations, in a statement.