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Posted on: August 2, 2018

A Letter from DTE Energy

August 1, 2018

Dear DTE Energy Customer,

 DTE Energy’s recent service to your area has been unacceptable and does not meet the high standards we work to hold ourselves to.

 We conducted an Open House in your area in mid-June and for many of you the problems have not improved since that time. The work we committed to you previously is work that needs to be done and is currently underway. However, it has become evident that it will not be sufficient to truly solve the service interruptions in the area.

Beyond the significant investments to upgrade and restore the substation, we had planned to spend about $1M to upgrade key parts of the overhead system. The ongoing issues indicate that more work is needed and as a result we are immediately expanding the scope of work to over $5M.

There are three key things that have led to the poor reliability in Plymouth:

  •  We did not build or expand our infrastructure sufficiently to keep up with the growth in your area.
  • Like many areas of the electrical system (here and across the country), the infrastructure is aging and needs to be replaced and upgraded.
  • Tree trimming is responsible for two-thirds of the time our customers are without power. In the City of Plymouth, we are well past due for tree trimming.

 We will continue with the work we communicated in June which is:

 Getting the substation that feeds the area entirely back to normal operations which will provide greater reliability and power redundancy in the area.

  • Upgrading two vital sections of the grid in the area. Within the next two months, work that has been underway for quite some time will be completed along Farmer and North Harvey streets. Another mile of upgrades is currently being designed for rebuild within the same area. Improvements in these two sections will provide more reliable service for all customers in the area.

 In addition to the items above we will:

  •  Conduct tree trimming on all circuits serving the City of Plymouth. Our tree trimming process starts with planners going door-to-door to talk to each resident about the work that needs to be done in their yard. If the resident is not home, the planner will leave a door hanger with his contact information.
  • As tree trimming is completed, we will do additional patrols to identify parts of the overhead infrastructure that are in need of repair and conduct those repairs. Some of these items have already been identified and fixed, many others will be more visible after tree trimming.
  • In parallel with the activities above, we are also conducting drone patrols of the two lines that feed the Plymouth substation and infrared patrols of the grid to identify any items in need of repair that are not visible from the ground.

 We are working as quickly as possible, and expect that it will take us 9-12 months to complete all of the work outlined above. Service to the area should improve throughout this time but will not be up to our full standards until all work is completed. We will provide regular updates on work progress to City Officials who will pass this information on to you.

 If power interruptions are needed to conduct any of the work, we will communicate in advance. The only exception would be emergency interruptions. In the event of an unplanned outage or power issue, we will communicate about the cause and estimated restoration time. Please log in to our DTE Energy website to ensure we have the accurate phone and email contact information for your account. We will also keep City Officials informed.

Improving service in your area is of utmost importance to me. I will be directly involved in ensuring our work is conducted as expeditiously as possible. We appreciate your patience with us as we work to make things right in Plymouth.



Heather Rivard

Senior Vice President, Distribution Operations DTE EnergyI00047449308


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