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Program Eligibility Alert

We're sorry. This account is not eligible for program name. Please review the program's eligibility details and Terms & Conditions or you can call for further information.

Combining Our Energy for a Better Tomorrow

Together, we can create a clean energy future for Michigan. While DTE Energy does not install solar or other renewable energy generation systems for our customers, we have an important role to play in connecting your private generation system to the grid.

The Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program is available to DTE customers with qualified renewable energy on-site generation. Participants are compensated for electricity they send into DTE's distribution system (outflow) when they fulfill DTE's Renewable Resource requirements.

The program is limited to Level 1 and 2 renewable projects, or Level 3 for a methane digester (see a detailed table of project sizes). Customers with private generation systems are still connected to DTE's distribution grid. Your DTE bill will reflect charges for inflow in accordance with the rate schedule to which Rider 18 is attached and any credits generated by your system.

Ready to go renewable?

Learn more about qualified renewable energy on-site generation

Review key considerations before investing in a private generation system

Follow the Interconnection Process to ensure the safety and reliability of your new system

Ready to apply?

Distributed Generation Impact Calculator

The impact to the customer's electric bill will depend on several factors, including energy consumption, generation, and system size. Interested customers can download this calculator and input inflow/outflow data to estimate the impact to their bill.

Distributed Generation Impact Calculator

Installing a solar PV system is an important financial and environmental decision. To help our customers, DTE offers a Distributed Generation Impact Calculator that can estimate the financial impacts of installing a solar PV system.

While the Impact Calculator provides a general financial analysis, it's important to understand that the calculator uses assumptions and averages, so the results won't fully reflect the exact load profile or circumstances for each unique customer. The results of the calculations are not a promise or guarantee of a customer's actual financial impact. DTE is not responsible for the results or accuracy of those estimates.

You can sign in to your DTE account to automatically apply your average monthly usage data in the analysis.

123 Place St, Ann Arbor, MI 48103 drop down
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The data will be applied automatically if you sign in to your DTE account, or you can average your last 12 months of usage listed on your monthly billing statements.

System size must be limited to no more than 100% of your electricity consumption from the meter the system is being attached to, and cannot exceed 150 kW of aggregate generation at a single site.

expandOptional details for a more precise estimate

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$

Impacts of Adding Solar Energy to Your Home

[$X,XXX]

Estimated annual electric bill.

About your estimate

[XX] Years

Estimated payback period.

How payback is calculated

[$XX,XXX]

Annual financing costs for [XX] years.

About financing costs

Your potential environmental impact:

trees planted annually.

How was this calculated?

The calculator is designed to be an informational and educational tool only. When used alone, it does not constitute final, quotable results. The results are provided as a rough approximation of your bill.

The calculator uses the following assumptions and averages based on information available for the state of Michigan and the current construct of Rider 18 and is subject to change.

Battery usage is not considered in the results of the bill calculator. Adding a battery would result in a higher average cost of <$x,xxx>, assuming the battery is intended for backup rather than load management use.

Rate: If you sign in to your DTE account, the calculator will pull the rate at the selected location and meter. If you don't sign in, estimates are calculated based on the current Standard D1 Rate.

Solar panel output is used under the assumption that the inverter at the location would allow for the entered output amount.

Results are based on the assumption that customer energy usage is the same as it was before the installation of solar panels.

Average monthly usage is calculated from averaging the last available 12 months of data.

Capacity factor is assumed at 13%.

The calculator factors the annual rate of degradation of solar panels ay 0.5% per year. Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Interest rate is assumed as 3.99%.

Average electricity use throughout the day is assumed and may not match your actual usage.

The calculator factors in the Investment Tax Credits (ITC) when calculating costs, payback period and the return on investment.

If install cost is not inputted, the calculator will assume the cost of the solar installation based on current technology costs, ITC's, etc.

How the Program Works

Prepare for Your Project

Understand your monthly electrical needs and research and review potential installers for your project.

When you're ready, contact several installers to gather quotes before signing a contract.

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Apply for Interconnection

You can work with your installer to submit an application. Learn more about the interconnection process.

Our application status tracker keeps you in the loop.

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Install Your System

You will receive an interconnection agreement, which you will need to sign and return to DTE. After DTE countersigns the interconnection agreement, your installer has 180 days to install the system and upload the construction documents.

Learn more about the installation process

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Pass the Site Visit

Once your system is installed, the construction documents are uploaded and DTE approves them. DTE then performs a site visit to test and program your system.

Download this calculator and input inflow/outflow data to see how your bill may be impacted.

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Once You're Connected

After a successful site visit, DTE will provide formal authorization to operate and turn on your system so it can begin generating energy. At times, you may generate more electricity than you use, resulting in your system outflowing energy to DTE's distribution system. You then receive outflow credits on your bill that can be used to offset the power supply charges of the rate schedule to which Rider 18 is attached. For all inflow, you are charged the retail rate of the rate schedule to which Rider 18 is attached.

If the amount of outflow credit in a billing period exceeds the power supply charges, the excess outflow credit is banked in the excess generation bank. It can be used in a future billing period to offset power supply charges of the rate schedule to which Rider 18 is attached. The excess generation bank carries forward and does not expire.

It will generally take one or two billing cycles for a customer's bill to reflect participation in the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program and any outflow credits.

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Inflow is the electricity the customer uses from DTE and its distribution system. Inflow is charged at the retail rate depicted on the customer's rate schedule to which Rider 18 is attached.

Outflow is the electricity generated by the customer's distributed generation project that is not used on-site and is instead sent to the distribution grid. Outflow is credited based on the power supply rate (less embedded transmission cost) of the rate schedule to which Rider 18 is attached.

What is inflow and outflow? link-arrow

We're Here for You Once Your System Is Live

Will I still receive a bill from DTE after I have installed my system?

Yes. Customers with private generation systems are still connected to DTE's grid and receive electric energy from DTE when their system does not produce enough power to meet their needs. You'll still receive charges according to your rate schedule for total inflow, including any fixed charges associated with the relevant rate schedule.

Will customers who install private generation systems still lose power if DTE's distribution system suffers damage, requires maintenance, or otherwise experiences a power outage?

If your system is equipped with a typical “grid following inverter”:

Yes. Inverters are designed to shut off if the utility loses power, which is required by national standards for safety purposes. Customers with generation sources not connected to the grid (e.g., those with backup generators and/or battery storage) may avoid power loss in such instances.

If your system includes a “grid forming” inverter and a transfer trip system (which is not common in Michigan):

Your system may keep your devices running, so long as your system produces enough power to support your current needs. However, if you try to use more power than your private generation system makes, the inverter will turn off the power until your demand is reduced. If you have a solar PV system prior to sunset, the system will likely stop making enough power to power your home or business.

In either case, customers are NOT “off the grid” even while on the program. Private renewable generation systems taking service under the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program will still be connected to a continuous source of electrical energy from DTE's distribution grid.

expandSee What Your Bill Will Look Like

Below is an example of a bill you'd receive under the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program.

The example is meant for illustrative purposes only. Charges depicted may not reflect current rates.

If you have questions, please contact the rates and billing hotline at (800) 482-8720, option #4.

bill bill
  1. Credits under Rider 18 are given based on outflow. The credit is based on the power supply component of the customer's retail rate, minus the embedded transmission charges.
  2. Inflow charges are based on the rate schedule to which Rider 18 is attached.
  3. The Rider 18 outflow credits can offset the power supply portion of the bill of the rate schedule to which Rider 18 is attached. Excess credit amount will be carried forward and can be used to offset power supply charges of the rate schedule to which Rider 18 is attached in future billing periods.

Is my roof a good candidate for solar?

Sunlight

Your geographic location, the pitch of your roof and the direction your home faces all impact how much solar energy you can harvest.

Shade

Long periods of shade can affect electricity generation. Trees, chimneys and other buildings can make some rooftops a less-than-ideal place for solar panels.

Condition

Solar PV systems are a long-term commitment and can last 15 to 30 years. You will want to ensure your roof is in very good condition and will last the lifetime of the solar PV system. Not having a roof in sufficient condition may require you to uninstall and re-install the PV system during this time, thus adding to unexpected costs and PV system downtime.

Additional factors may exist that prevent rooftop solar power generation. An installer will thoroughly evaluate your home for solar compatibility.

Finding the Right Installer

We encourage you to do research as you would for any major project or purchase.

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Credentials

DTE does not provide installer recommendations, but Michigan Saves maintains a list of solar installers in the state. Meet with multiple contractors and be sure to review credentials.

The state of Michigan maintains a webpage to look up the current status of licenses. Both the general contractor and the electrician will require licenses to perform work.

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Track Record

In addition to online reviews, seek out recommendations from friends and neighbors who have installed solar at their own homes. Look for positive reviews at the Better Business Bureau.

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Warranties

Ensure that your installation includes a workmanship warranty (and thoroughly read it) so that you're covered if issues arise after your system is live.

Net Metering to Rider 18 Distributed Generation Rate Changes

expandWhy are Rider 16 Net Metering customers being switched to the Rider 18 Distributed Generation program?

State laws mandated that the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) phase out the Net Metering program and create a new distributed generation program. For DTE, these laws resulted in the implementation of the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program in 2019.

DTE's existing Rider 16 Net Metering sites will be converted to the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program upon reaching their 10-year anniversary in the Net Metering program. DTE will notify customers via email approximately 30 days prior to their rate conversion.

expandWhen switching to Rider 18 Distributed Generation, will Net Metering customers lose their Excess Generation Bank?

No. Customers converting to the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program will receive a check for their Excess Generation Bank balance, if applicable, approximately 60 days after their conversion.

expandHow does this affect a SolarCurrents contract?

Moving to the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program does not affect SolarCurrents contracts. The SolarCurrents contracts are applied to the purchase of renewable energy credits for 20 years and will continue under the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program.

expandCan a customer expand their existing project size and remain on Rider 16 Net Metering?

No. If a customer expands their renewable generation system, the entire system will be moved to the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program, not just the expansion.

expandHow will the Distributed Generation Program impact the customer's electric bill?

The impact to the customer's electric bill will depend on several factors, including energy consumption, generation, and system size. Interested customers can download this calculator and input inflow/outflow data to estimate the impact to their bill.

Rider 18 Distributed Generation and MIGreenPower

expandCan a Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program customer enroll in the MIGreenPower program?

Yes, a Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program customer can enroll in the MIGreenPower program as a simple and effective way to become a net zero carbon emissions customer. Under Rider 18 Distributed Generation, customers inflow electricity from the grid and receive credit for any outflow. As a result, Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program customers may be interested in “greening” all their energy.

In order to calculate their MIGreenPower subscription, customers will need to look at their annual inflow and outflow. Here is an example:

Achieve Net Zero Emissions kWh Percent%
Total annual inflow 10,000 100%
Renewable energy from grid 1,500 15%
Total annual outflow 7,500 75%
Net 1,000 10%
“Greening” all incoming energy kWh Percent%
Total annual inflow 10,000 100%
Renewable energy from grid 1,500 15%
Net 8,500 85%

Purchasing a Home with Solar

expandI purchased a home with a renewable electric generation system. What do I need to do?

First, you will need to transfer the electric service to your name by calling (800) 477-4747. You will then need to start a new interconnection application to transfer the system into your name. To start this process, follow this link to login to your dashboard and then click on "Start a New Project" button and follow all the necessary steps in PowerClerk. For a description of service, be sure to select "Change of ownership of a currently served location." For additional questions or assistance, please call the DTE Interconnection Hotline at (313) 235-4333 or email the Interconnection team and provide your name and address.

New residents are also required to sign a new Parallel Operating Agreement. If the previous homeowner installed the system under the Net Metering program, the system will continue under the program for the remainder of the 10-year period before transitioning to the Distributed Generation Program.

expandWhat if I move/sell my home after installing a private generation system?

Many homeowners who install solar panels or other renewable systems leave the system if they sell or change locations. The new owners assume responsibility for the system. If you acquire a home with a private generating system, as the new property owner, you must reapply to DTE to transfer the system into your name. You also have the option of removing your system and reinstalling it on another home, subject to eligibility requirements. You are responsible for these costs and will need to reapply (and meet all program requirements) to connect to the grid at your new location.

Working With You

We know that installing a private generation system is a big commitment. While DTE won't design or install your system, we will work with you and your installer throughout the interconnection process.

This page outlines the four-step process you and your installer will follow to work with DTE to safely connect your system to the grid.

If you are not a registered installer with DTE, please call (800) 482-8720 and select option 4 to register. For additional information on the interconnection portal, see the Installer job aid. For residential customers, see the Residential Customer job aid.

1. Prepare for Your Project

2. Apply for Interconnection

3. Install Your System and submit required documentation

4. Pass the Site Visit

The interconnection process takes approximately 20 business weeks for most home projects. We look forward to working with you to get your system connected safely to the grid.

Ready to apply?

Prepare for Your Project

Do the research! It's the best start to ensuring a smooth and successful private generation installation.

DTE's Hosting Capacity Map can be viewed here.

DTE's EV Hosting Capacity Map can be viewed here.

The DTE Interconnection queue list can be found here. DTE will update this file no less than once per month.

Review your electric bills for monthly, seasonal and annual usage. Consider your plans for additional electric use as well as opportunities for energy efficiency. Know the amount of power your system will generate to meet your needs and budget. To access your usage data, sign in to your DTE account, click on Energy Usage Data, and follow the steps to download your Energy Usage Report.

Review the Interconnection and Distributed Generation Standards.

Assess your home's potential, and be aware of common solar installation issues.

Meet with multiple installers. Determining your project's size is important, and consulting with installers will help you understand the project's scope and costs. Get references, review licenses and certifications and make sure you're confident your installer will keep you informed throughout the interconnection process. See tips for finding the right installer.

Projects are grouped into five levels. Most residential spaces will fall under Level 1 requirements. Please use the detailed table of project sizes and fees to find requirements for your project level. For Level 3-5 projects, please email us at interconnect_account@dteenergy.com.

Level & Requirements Project Size Application Fee
Level 1
Requirements
Up to 20 kW $50
Level 2
Requirements
20 to 150 kW $50
Level 3
Requirements
150 to 550 kW $150
Level 4
Requirements
550 kW to 1 MW $250
Level 5
Requirements
Over 1MW $500

Apply for Interconnection

Once your project size is determined, the engineering drawings are complete and all other required interconnection information is gathered, you or your installer (if you've agreed to your installer's proposal) will complete DTE's interconnection application in PowerClerk®. You will receive project updates via email, and your installer can access the PowerClerk website for status updates on the application.

You can check your project’s status in the dashboard once you log in.

After receiving your interconnection application and fee, DTE will review your project. Within 10 business days, DTE will notify you and your installer if your application is approved and which track your project will be on or if your application needs to be amended.

Once your project is approved, DTE will apply a set of initial review screens and notify you and your installer of the results. If your project does not pass the initial review screens, DTE will notify you and your installer about options on how to proceed.

We'll also inform you if you need to choose a compatible electric rate. Learn more about the rate schedules to which the Rider 18 Distributed Generation program is attached.

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Signed Interconnection Agreement

The Interconnection Agreement is a required contractual agreement between a customer and DTE explaining that both parties will operate their respective systems safely and within the detailed interconnection requirements.

Before project construction can begin, an Interconnection Agreement will be emailed to the customer from DocuSign for an electronic signature. If necessary, DTE can also mail a hard copy of the agreement to the customer for a signature.

Please note: The Interconnection Agreement must be signed by the customer and cannot be signed by an installer on behalf of the customer.

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Inter-connection-desktop

Before installation begins, make sure your application is approved and an interconnection agreement has been fully executed by you and DTE.

There are project risks for not correcting deficiencies before installation:

Sunk costsNo application refunds.

DelaysProjects can be delayed for weeks or months.

ReapplyingThe application process, including fees and reviews, starts again.

Install Your System

Once DTE receives and fully executes your Interconnection Agreement, you or your installer must upload the required construction documents to PowerClerk and complete the installation within 180 days.

Installers Must Upload:

An approved electrical inspection sticker

The sticker must specify that the final inspection was approved and the work description was for a solar energy system. It must also include the site address and be signed and dated by the local governing authority.

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Photos: installed inverters and nameplate capacity

  • Close-up photos of each inverter, showing nameplate capacity.
  • Photos showing all installed equipment in context with the house.
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Photo showing the disconnect switch is within five feet of the meter

Photo must include the meter and A/C disconnect.

Please note: For safety reasons, this requirement protects you, DTE field technicians and emergency services.

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Once all construction documents are uploaded, DTE will review the documents for accuracy within 10 business days. If your construction documents are approved, your project will be scheduled for a site visit. If the construction documents are incomplete or need to be amended, the applicant shall have at least 20 business days or a mutually agreed upon time frame with DTE to implement corrections to those documents.

Pass the Site Visit

On the day of the site visit, a DTE field technician will visit your location to test your private generation energy system. To prepare for the site visit, please ensure:

Solar panels are clear from debris (snow, leaves, etc.).

The inverter is on.

The AC disconnect switch is in the “OFF” position.

Reminder: The AC disconnect should not be switched to “ON” by anyone other than a DTE technician.

You're Connected!

To ensure a safe connection, the AC disconnect switch will only be turned “ON” by a DTE technician after the site inspection and testing is successful.

DTE will email you a Parallel Operating Authorization through PowerClerk® for your records.

With all requirements complete and the system on, you can begin generating energy and outflow credits. Your DTE bill will reflect charges for your service as well as credits for your outflow. It may take one or two billing cycles for DTE to process your new bill.

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Rate Schedules

expandTo which rates can Rider 18 Distributed Generation be attached?

Rider 18 can be attached to any residential, commercial, secondary or primary rate schedules, except for the following:

D1-A RESIDENTIAL ADVANCED PRICING PILOT A

D1-B RESIDENTIAL ADVANCED PRICING PILOT B

D3.1 UNMETERED GENERAL SERVICE RATE

D9 OUTDOOR PROTECTIVE LIGHTING

Rider 18 cannot be attached to any other Riders. Please see the list of Residential Rate Options or visit DTE Energy's Rate Book.

expandAre there any other options for Level 1 and 2 or if I don't have a renewable generation source?

Yes, Rider 14 is available to qualifying customers with on-site generation capacity of up to 100 kW. Unlike Rider 18, the generation does not need to be renewable, and does not need to be limited to the rate schedule's on-site usage. However, the outflow credit on Rider 14 is based on the wholesale market, as opposed to the retail rate schedule. In addition, Rider 5 is available to Level 1 or 2 customers meeting the requirements as a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Qualifying Facility.

Battery Storage and Generators

expandDo I need to notify DTE if I'm planning to add a battery storage system?

DTE doesn't require customers to install battery storage. However, if you do wish to install a battery storage system, contact DTE to confirm the battery won't interact with the distribution system and to help ensure you maintain eligibility for service under the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program or Net Metering. Export from batteries for Rider 18 connected systems is not permitted.

To submit a new application with the addition of a battery storage system, please Start Your Application.

expandWhy isn't my battery storage or emergency generator permitted to discharge energy to the grid?

Since battery storage systems and emergency backup generators don't qualify as renewable energy resources, they aren't permitted to discharge energy back to the distribution system.

Businesses with a generator greater than 250 kW may qualify for the Dispersed Generation tariff (Rider 13) and receive voluntary dispersed generation payments for operating their generation at the request of DTE. For more information, call (800) 482-8720 and select option #4.

Learn more about eligibility for the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program.

Installing Your Solar Power System

Solar installations connected to DTE's distribution grid are subject to DTE tariffs and interconnection procedures, as well as Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) regulations and other laws. The regulations ensure that your system and the grid remain safe and reliable. Through DTE's process, from application through site review, we help to resolve potential issues with your system before you're connected.

Installation Timeline

Below are some timelines for key points in the process. It's important to be aware of these timelines to make sure the process continues to move forward. If a step is taking longer than expected, you can review your application or installation status in PowerClerk to identify and resolve issues as quickly as possible. Please note: timelines may vary for your specific project.

expand

Application & Initial Review Screenings

After receiving a complete application in PowerClerk® and associated payment, DTE will notify you within 10 business days if your application is approved or needs to be amended. If approved, DTE will apply a set of initial review screens to your project and notify you of the results within 10 business days in most cases.

expand

Interconnection Agreement

Prior to construction of your project, an Interconnection Agreement must be fully executed by you and DTE.

expand

Installation, Testing & Inspection

Required construction and construction documents must be uploaded to PowerClerk within 180 days. After DTE approves these documents within 10 business days, a DTE field technician will visit your site and test your private generation system.

Please note: When DTE is performing storm restoration, our engineering and field resources prioritize customer safety and restoration efforts. Interconnection review timelines and site visit timelines may experience delays until storm restoration is completed. Please visit the DTE Outage Center and view the Outage Map for up-to-date information.

Property Considerations

One System, One Meter

Each renewable power generation system can connect to one meter. A private system can service an accessory unit, but must connect to the DTE distribution grid via a single meter.

Roof Specs

Not every property can effectively accommodate solar power. Your roof pitch, shade and the angle of the sun are all factors.

Customer Usage

Systems must be limited in size, not to exceed the customer's self-service needs of the rate schedule to which the Rider 18 Distributed Generation Program is attached.

Four Common Solar Installation Issues

One

Roof Condition

Solar panels are a long-term commitment, so you will want to be sure your roof is in good condition before installation. Removing and reinstalling solar panels add unexpected costs to the project.

Two

Access Issues

Local governments have strict rules about placement of cutoff switches and access lanes between panels so firefighters can effectively manage an emergency.

Three

Wiring Issues

Your system will connect with both your building and the grid. Wires must be the correct gauges and connections must be properly made. In some cases, you may need to install a new primary service breaker.

Four

Sufficient Grounding

All conductive materials in your solar panel system must be properly grounded. This process can be more complicated than a typical building's grounding bar. Remember, you're installing a small-scale power plant on your roof.

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If you would like to withdraw or cancel your project, please contact the DTE Interconnection Team at interconnect_account@dteenergy.com or call (313) 235-4333.

Distributed Generation Impact Calculator

The impact to the customer's electric bill will depend on several factors, including energy consumption, generation, and system size. Interested customers can download this calculator and input inflow/outflow data to estimate the impact to their bill.

Frequently Asked Questions

expandWhy can't I see my projects?

Granted projects via grantee/grantor functionality within PowerClerk will not be displayed in the grantee's Commerce dashboard. You can view all your accessible projects in PowerClerk.

expand What happens if I create a project without the customer's authorization?

PowerClerk projects you created won't have pre-populated data fields and will be in unsubmitted status by default. Your customer won't see the project in their dashboard until you provide an accurate Customer Account Number and Service Address in PowerClerk.

expand What happens if I create a project myself (without authorizing an Installer)?

You won't be able to assign the project to an Installer afterwards. To assign it to an installer, you must cancel the current project and start a new one with the Installer authorization process.

expand How can I cancel or withdraw projects?

If you want to cancel or withdraw a project, please contact the DTE Interconnection Team at interconnect_account@dteenergy.com or call (313) 235-4333.