New Detroit Edison Program Will Enable Customers to Cut the Cost of Installing Solar Energy

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DETROIT, Sept. 1, 2009 /PRNewswire/ – Detroit Edison has introduced a new program that will make installing a solar energy system 50 percent more affordable for homes and businesses.

Called SolarCurrents, the pilot program is intended to encourage Detroit Edison customers to purchase and install a solar energy system, and at the same time help the utility meet renewable energy targets contained in comprehensive energy legislation approved last year.

“SolarCurrents provides a significant financial incentive for Detroit Edison customers interested in installing a solar energy system on their home or business,” said Trevor F. Lauer, vice president of retail marketing for DTE Energy, parent company of Detroit Edison. “Customers will receive a payment when the system is installed, then will receive monthly payments over the next 20 years for the renewable energy credits associated with their solar system.”

Solar energy systems generate electricity through the use of photovoltaic (PV) technology, which turns the sun’s light energy into electricity. After passing through a component called an inverter, the direct current electricity generated by the solar panels is converted to alternating current – the type of electricity accessed through standard electric outlets.

A solar energy system for a typical 2,000 square foot home or business can cost about $18,000 to install. Under SolarCurrents, customers will receive a one-time payment when their system is installed. They then will receive monthly credits on their electric bill for the next 20 years for providing Detroit Edison with renewable energy credits associated with the system.

“When all is said and done, SolarCurrents can help reduce the cost of purchasing and installing a qualified solar energy system by 50 percent or more,” Lauer said.

Solar Currents was developed following passage of the Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act of 2008 – legislation that requires Michigan’s electric utilities to provide 10 percent of their electricity sales from renewable resources by 2015. Detroit Edison expects upwards of 1,500 customers to take part in the SolarCurrents program.

Detroit Edison also plans to introduce a second-phase of the SolarCurrents programs in which the company will place large-scale solar energy panels it owns on customer rooftops or property. In return, Detroit Edison will pay long term leasing or rental fees to the property owners. Further details on the next phase of the SolarCurrents program are expected in the coming months.

Detroit Edison is an investor-owned electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) , a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Information about DTE Energy is available at www.dteenergy.com.

For more information on SolarCurrents, visit dteenergy.com/solar, or call (313) 235-4SUN (4786).

Source: Detroit Edison

CONTACT: Len Singer, +1-313-235-8809,
or Lorie N. Kessler, +1-313-235-8807, both of Detroit Edison
Web Site: http://www.dteenergy.com

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