DTE Energy, White House Tout Economic Impact of Smart Grid Grants

Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:09pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

DTE Energy chief says $83 million grant will accelerate program in Michigan

DETROIT, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The economic impact of nearly $170 million
spent to bring high tech energy service to Michigan over the next two years
will provide jobs and needed spending in Michigan's economy, said Anthony F.
Earley, Jr., DTE Energy chairman and CEO.

Earley was joined at a news conference today by Edward Montgomery, executive
director, White House Council on Auto Communities and Workers, who touted the
latest round of grants under the federal economic stimulus program. DTE Energy
will receive $83 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate its
SmartCurrents program over the next two years. The grant will be matched by
DTE Energy and its technology partners.

During 2010 and 2011, Detroit Edison and MichCon will install 660,000 new
"smart" meters in portions of Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, Lapeer, Ingham and
Tuscola counties. These meters will serve as the technological backbone for
the SmartCurrents program.

"We estimate the accelerated startup of the SmartCurrents program will result
in the creation of 700 deployment and construction jobs for IT contractors and
overhead linemen, and 350 permanent positions for suppliers to this effort,"
Earley said. "This estimate does not include second tier or pull-through
opportunities created with an increase in local production and commercial
growth of this technology. There are environmental benefits, too. By reducing
our vehicle use related to meter reading, we'll also cut our carbon emissions
and fuel consumption."  

The SmartCurrents program is DTE Energy's contribution to the nation's Smart
Grid, which uses the latest technologies across the country's electric system
to allow consumers to make choices that save them money and improve the

"The combined effect of our $3.4 billion investment, when the projects are
fully implemented, will create thousands of jobs, including higher paying
career opportunities for smart meter manufacturing workers, make the grid more
reliable and empower consumers to cut their electricity bills," Montgomery
said. "We estimate these improvements will reduce electricity demand by 1,400
megawatts, and put us on a path to get 20 percent or more of our energy from
renewable resources by 2020." 

SmartCurrents will provide customers with improved electric service
reliability, the distribution of smart appliances and ways to control and
reduce energy consumption and costs.

The new metering part of the program will serve as a platform to eliminate
manual meter reading and provide remote monitoring of the electric
distribution system, which will enable faster and more reliable power outage
detection and restoration. DTE Energy also would have the ability to connect
meters remotely. The program will enable customers to manage their bills by
tracking their consumption and demand via the DTE Energy Web site.

As the program implementation proceeds, every electric meter in Southeast
Michigan would be replaced with solid state meters and every gas meter would
be modified with an advanced metering module. Customers will be notified when
meter changes are scheduled in their communities during the next several

The SmartCurrents program, besides advanced metering technology, includes
Smart Circuit and Smart Home technologies. Smart Home would provide different
pricing levels to incentivize off-peak electrical usage, web-based customer
energy usage presentation and customer outage notification. In addition,
certain "smart" appliances could communicate with DTE Energy to provide
optimum energy savings.

As a result of the DOE funding, DTE Energy will have the opportunity to offer
Smart Home technology with in-home displays and high tech thermostats to 5,000
customers, and make improvements to 11 substations and 55 circuits over the
next two years.

DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved
in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services
nationwide. Its operating units include Detroit Edison, an electric utility
serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan, MichCon, a natural gas
utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan and other non-utility,
energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, coal and gas
midstream, unconventional gas production and energy trading. Information about
DTE Energy is available at www.dteenergy.com.


Scott Simons, +1-313-235-8808, or Len Singer, +1-313-235-8809, both of DTE
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