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DTE Energy Helps Customers in Need with $5 Million Donation to Outreach Agencies

The Heat and Warmth Fund, The Salvation Army, United Way, TrueNorth Community Services, and Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency receive funds for customer assistance

Detroit, Jan. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DETROIT, Jan. 29, 2020  DTE Energy, Michigan largest’s energy company, today announced a donation of $5 million to five outreach agencies to help Michigan residents stay safe and warm this winter. The donation will help residents who are struggling to pay current and past due energy bills by supporting their enrollment in DTE’s Low Income Self Sufficiency Plan (LSP), which arranges affordable monthly payments based on income and energy usage.  

“We sympathize with the challenges some of our customers face, especially during these cold winter months, and we want to provide assistance to help lighten their load,” said Jerry Norcia, president and CEO, DTE Energy. “With this donation to our agency partners, we’re working to make sure customers eligible for energy assistance are able to receive the help they need.”  

The donations will be given to and administered by The Salvation Army, The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), United Way,TrueNorth Community Services, and Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency.  The agencies will provide relief funds to elderly, unemployed, underemployed and disabled residents throughout Michigan. 

“With this donation DTE is greatly increasing our ability to serve and support families here in Wayne County working hard to make the journey from struggling to stable,” said Louis D. Piszker, chief executive officer at Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency. “Along with bill assistance, families will receive a host of financial empowerment and energy conserving programs. So the investment DTE is making with Wayne Metro today will result in positive economic and social outcomes for families and our community for generations to come.”

"During cold Michigan winters, families across the state need as much help as they can get," said Saunteel Jenkins, chief executive officer, THAW.  "THAW is grateful to DTE for our 35-year partnership and this generous donation that will help families stay safe and warm."

“We are grateful for the continuing partnership between DTE and The Salvation Army that is signified by this generous grant,” said Major Glen Caddy, divisional commander, The Salvation Army. “Together we will be able to continue meeting the needs of those who look to The Salvation Army for help during times of crisis.”

“This significant gift from DTE will strengthen the important work United Way does across Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties to ensure the stability of families needing help to stay warm,” said Tonya Adair, chief impact officer, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “We are appreciative of our longstanding partnership with DTE and their commitment year after year to make sure energy assistance support is available to those needing it most across southeast Michigan.”

“Our partnership with DTE Energy is critical in our efforts to provide short-term financial help to the most vulnerable among us,” said Niki Fanjoy, emPower division director, TrueNorth Community Services. “This assistance can mean the difference between heating and eating or other vital needs. We’re thankful to DTE Energy for working with us.”

DTE's LSP program allows customers to make affordable monthly payments based on income and energy usage. More than 36,000 residents were enrolled in LSP during the 2018 - 2019 program year. All outreach agencies will conduct enrollment until Spring 2020 for eligible individuals seeking utility assistance.

This marks the eighth year DTE has administered the LSP program.  Since 2012, the plan has seen a nearly 90% success rate of enrollees completing their payment plan cycles and building a pattern of self-reliance.  Visit dteenergy.com/lsp for additional program information and details on how to enroll. 


About DTE Energy

DTE Energy (DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric company serving 2.2 million customers in Southeast Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE portfolio includes energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects; renewable natural gas; natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage; and energy marketing and trading. As an environmental leader, DTE utility operations will reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions by more than 80 percent by 2040 to produce cleaner energy while keeping it safe, reliable and affordable. DTE Electric aspires to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. DTE is committed to serving with its energy through volunteerism, education and employment initiatives, philanthropy and economic progress. Information about DTE is available at dteenergy.com, empoweringmichigan.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com.

Anne Santori
DTE Energy