DTE will modernize its cast iron and steel main pipelines with newer, more durable material, and new service lines to homes and businesses also will be installed. DTE this year is on track to replace more than 100 miles of gas main lines, an increase from 2015, when the company replaced 80 miles of gas main lines. DTE plans to continue to accelerate the pace of replacement, eventually doubling the current program.
“Replacing older gas lines with the latest in pipeline material ensures that our natural gas system remains safe for our customers,” said Mark Stiers, DTE Gas president and chief operating officer. “The key to maintaining a safe pipeline system is our regular inspections and maintenance of the lines.”
Natural gas meters will be moved from inside homes and businesses and replaced with advanced meters on the outside as part of the gas main modernization work. Advanced meters on the outside of homes and businesses will eliminate the need to read meters and provide less customer inconvenience by ending the need to enter a home for maintenance and to read meters.
Besides the acceleration of gas main replacement, upgrades also will be made at compressor stations to ensure the continued reliable and uninterrupted delivery to all customers. Compressors are used to push natural gas into underground storage reservoirs and then draw the natural gas out when it’s needed to serve customers.
Stiers added that declining natural gas costs, combined with operational efficiencies, will enable DTE Gas to continue to offer affordable prices for its customers.
“We can do both,” Stiers said of improving the infrastructure and maintaining affordable prices. “Lower natural gas prices have significantly reduced bills for our customers, who can be assured that they will continue to have a safe, reliable natural gas system.”