Detroit Edison is making it faster and easier for customers to get up-to-date restoration estimates when their power is out. The company has launched a new online power outage map that provides that information - and much more - in an instant.

The outage map is available on DTE Energy's website at dteenergy.com/outage. Customers can search for their outage by zip code or click on their location on the map to find out when power is expected to be restored, how many customers are affected, and when available, the cause of the outage. Information on the map is updated every 15 minutes.

"Our customers have told us that they want more information when their power is out, in addition to accurate restoration estimates. Those who are able to access the Internet - from a location with power, a battery operated laptop or certain smart phones - will have those details at their fingertips," said Vince Dow, DTE Energy vice president of distribution operations.

Dow said the company spent months developing the map system, reviewing those used by other utilities and conducting customer surveys and focus groups.

"Customer input was instrumental to the creation of the map," said Dow. "We listened carefully to what they said to make sure we delivered what they want."

The outage map is located on the company website's new Outage Center page, which also includes links that allow customers to report power outages and get restoral estimates online or via a mobile device. In addition, the Outage Center offers information on preparing for bad weather, and how to stay safe before and after a storm. Customers also can visit the site to report streetlight problems and sign up to receive storm alerts.

The outage map can be viewed on Android and iPhone 4 cell phones.