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Innovation and Sustainability Begin with Upgrades

The Alliance for Michigan Power believes energy innovation will move Michigan forward. That’s why we enthusiastically support Michigan-based energy solutions that increase sustainability, advance energy use education and awareness, and make our homes and businesses more energy efficient.

Rebuilding & Replacing

The “low-hanging fruit” when it comes to innovation and sustainability involves maintaining and upgrading our existing energy infrastructure. A major part of that is simply planned, proactive maintenance: skilled energy crews throughout the state are working harder than ever to replace hardware that has been heavily used. For example, they’ve been installing upgraded power lines and rebuilding pole-top equipment, such as overhead conductors, switches, and fault-indicator equipment that will identify damaged lines more quickly.

But maintenance isn’t enough by itself; Michigan-owned and -operated energy companies have been investing in next-generation technology for several years now. In fact, hundreds of millions of dollars are being devoted to upgrading to the best energy-generation technologies available today while continuing to develop even better technologies for tomorrow.

Developing a Smarter Grid

Upgrading Michigan’s power generation technology also isn’t enough by itself. We also need to upgrade technologies that support more efficient, reliable distribution and help consumers use energy more cost-effectively. Michigan’s energy companies are deploying newer technologies that will help pinpoint problems more quickly, detect system damage, and re-route power from nearby undamaged circuits, minimizing the impact of outages. Among those features are remote control and manual switching devices, fault indicator locators, and wireless electronic sensors.

Moreover, more advanced meters on consumers’ homes are helping Michiganders monitor their energy usage more accurately so they can adjust to get the most out of the energy they use.

Information Transforms Customer Experience

Beside upgrades to the power system itself, new technologies are helping customers stay better informed and navigate their customer experience more effectively. From mobile apps and online outage maps to social media forums, it’s never been easier to understand and manage your energy usage, get your questions answered, and work with your energy provider to resolve problems.

Only the Beginning

Michigan’s energy industry is doing its part to build a system that can sustain Michigan’s businesses, families, and environment for decades to come. Our elected leaders need to respond as well. Michigan’s 2008 Energy Policy was a solid step forward. Hopefully it is a sign of even better things to come that will encourage investment and innovation.