Awareness effort will spotlight special assistance plans for customers impacted by COVID-19, culminating in May 22 “Day of Caring” radio event
Detroit, May 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DTE Energy has launched “Caring in the Crisis,” an awareness effort aiming to make sure Detroit-area residents who need help know how to get it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The effort includes a series of public service announcements and digital messages encouraging DTE customers to contact the company to explore payment assistance and financial help options if they are experiencing a hardship due to COVID-19. It will culminate with a May 22 “Day of Caring” radio event on Detroit stations WJLB, WDMK and WDMK HD2. The “Day of Caring” programming will include messages from influential community leaders and elected officials, all encouraging Detroiters to take advantage of the help available to them.
“Throughout this crisis, we have had one core message to our communities, and that’s ‘we’re here to help you,” said Angie Pizzuti, vice president and chief customer officer, DTE Energy. “There are many people who have never had problems making ends meet, and now are experiencing income loss and don’t know where to turn. We want to connect with them right away to deliver the help that DTE and the state have made available to them.”
DTE formed partnerships with local faith-based leaders, elected officials and human service agencies to create messaging for the campaign, which will be seen and heard on the participating radio stations, social media outlets and other digital channels throughout May.
Guests who will be heard during the May 22 day of caring will include:
- Mayor Mike Duggan, City of Detroit
- Reverend Wendell Anthony, Fellowship Chapel
- Jerry Norcia, president and CEO, DTE Energy
- Pastor Solomon Kinloch, Triumph Church
- Commissioner Tremaine Phillips, Michigan Public Service Commission
- Dr. Darienne Hudson, CEO, The United Way
- Louis Piszker, CEO, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
- Eric Sabree, treasurer, Wayne County Tax Office
DTE Energy has taken multiple actions to respond to customer needs during the COVID-19 crisis, with programs available by calling 800.477.4747:
- New Personalized Service Protection plan for any customers impacted by income loss or medical condition due to COVID-19. Based on customer circumstances, help may include additional time to pay and flexible payment options, all while protecting the customer’s service.
- State Emergency Relief (SER) financial aid which can cover energy bills, available through the State of Michigan at newmibridges.michigan.gov. DTE representatives can connect customers to local agencies who will help them apply for this aid.
- Extended 30-day medical hold policy to include low-income customers who are physically exposed, infected or quarantined by the COVID-19 virus (including influenza).
- Distribution of personal protection equipment (PPE) to 5,000 small businesses May 26 and 27 in cooperation with the public and private coalition recently created by Mayor Duggan, Detroit Means Business. This PPE starter kit will help Detroit’s small businesses open safely.
- Guidance for business customers on resources available to them through state and federal agencies via DTE’s COVID-19 page for businesses.
- Energy efficiency guidance to customers spending more time at home, with easy, low- or no-cost steps that can immediately reduce usage and costs.
More information on all DTE initiatives in response to COVID-19 can be found at dteenergy.com/covid19.
Across our communities, the DTE Energy Foundation is fully activated to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The Foundation has donated 2 million respiratory masks to first responders and medical professionals. In the first month of the crisis, the Foundation supported one million meals, basic needs for 100,000 families and helped 400 small businesses with grants. The Foundation also launched a matching grant program for the Michigan Association of United Ways and Michigan Action that has resulted in nearly $1 million in public donations to-date. In addition, the Foundation is matching donations by DTE Energy employees, contractors and retirees to nonprofits across Michigan, including faith-based organizations.
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.