Operates a grid for some street lights, city and county buildings, and other locations. Independent from local electric companies. As of 2011, was facing major costs for replacing outdated infrastructure. Problems and solutions discussed in Dave Bing's 2010 departmental analysis.

Gary Brown thinks that services should be privatized.

Extensive power problems have emerged in recent years. During heavy rains in September 2011, power was lost at Detroit institutions (including schools) during the first days of school.

The City's cost for public lighting is 10.7M. It is unclear if this figure also includes costs for lights DTE manages. In late 2011, the City estimated that 15-20% of 88,000 lights were out. In some neighborhoods, half the lights are out. Lighting systems are a frequent target of thefts.

In October 2011, DTE removed about 1,400 light poles in the City of Highland Park because of the city's inability to pay past-due bills. Some street corners still have lights in a deal reached by the city.

In November 2011, Dave Bing announced that the City would contract with DTE to replace 3,000 streetlight lamps in dense areas that would otherwise be serviced by the Public Lighting Department. The Department will also hiring one journeyman and several additional employees to repair or replace the grid that powers other stripped and obsolete lights, which should bring 2,000 additional lights on line. The City is also planning on privatizing much of the outdated grid.