Night Urban StreetDTE Energy

Outdoor Lighting Monitoring – Electric Utility

Outdoor lighting delivers valuable benefits to municipalities. Greater safety, security, and a more welcoming environment help attract residents, visitors, and businesses, all of which contribute to increased municipal revenue.

DTE Energy approached NSI with an interesting problem: They needed a cost-effective and rapid audit of company-supplied community municipal lighting to identify outages so that they could be restored in a timely manner. Existing methods of identifying outages, such as self-reporting and using the repair crews to identify outages when they found them in the field, worked, but with over 7,500 square miles of service territory, gaps in coverage were all too common.

NSI proposed a program of dedicated patrols to cover the client’s territory. Using client-supplied geospatial data for the location of managed streetlights, NSI directs two-person teams to review and audit light functionality on a municipal level. Each team utilizes a GPS-enabled tablet to identify and mark non-working lights. Data is then returned to the office, where city-by-city reports are delivered to the client showing the current state of outages on patrolled portions of their portfolio.

NSI has patrolled and audited a good portion of the DTE’s service area through this project. By focusing just on the audit, our teams can quickly create an up-to-date dataset identifying and locating outages needing repair. As a result, the client can allocate their repair assets where most needed and ensure that repairs are assigned in an efficient manner, thereby reducing overall program costs and allowing the repair crews to take a more planned approach to repair work.