Sponsored Story, Courtesy of DTE
Donations and direct financial assistance to customers to help ensure Michigan residents have the energy they need
DTE Energy has pledged $13 million to support customers struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The commitment consists of donations to human service agencies plus direct relief to customers struggling with arrears throughout the crisis. DTE expects these efforts to help nearly 40,000 of its most vulnerable customers keep their energy flowing during this challenging time.
“We know many of our customers have coped with COVID-19’s impact on family members, and many more are bringing in less income and having a hard time getting by,” said Jerry Norcia, DTE Energy president and chief executive officer. “We felt it was crucial during this terrible pandemic to offer lifelines to the most vulnerable among us. DTE is more committed than ever to make sure all our customers keep the energy they need to light and warm their homes.”
DTE’s donation to human service agencies will enable them to help Michigan residents pay down past-due balances and enroll in affordable payment plans. These agencies include The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), the United Way, the Salvation Army, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, St. Vincent de Paul and True North.
Additionally, DTE is offering direct financial support to qualifying customers based on income level and amount of arrears. Those helped include households traditionally considered low income, and also customers who were in good financial condition pre-COVID19 but are now struggling due to lost income.
“The help is here for customers in great need,” said Angie Pizzuti, DTE’s vice president and chief customer officer. “Those who are having a hard time with energy bills should first call 211, which will direct them to an agency to help get the assistance process started. And once these channels are opened, we can get customers on affordable payment plans and ensure their services are protected.”
As Michigan entered the pandemic, DTE recognized the impact it would have on customers and created a new program, the Personalized Service Protection plan, which enables DTE representatives to create customized assistance based on a customer’s unique situation. The plans include affordable payment options as well as connections to financial aid through state and federal programs.
Further, DTE has extended service protections to customers physically exposed to or quarantined by the coronavirus. Plus, DTE revised policies on its Low-Income Self-Sufficiency Plan by keeping customers on the affordable payment plan even if they missed payments during the pandemic.
The vast majority of DTE customers have continued to make their energy payments throughout the pandemic, and DTE has provided them with ongoing savings opportunities. DTE customers pay nearly 30% less for gas than they did ten years ago, and the company has passed along more than $30 million in bill reductions to electric customers over the summer. Plus, DTE energy efficiency programs provide tips and free products such as efficient light bulbs to help customers reduce bills even further.
Customers who would like to learn more about DTE’s energy assistance programs can call 800.477.4747 or visit https://dteenergy.com/covid19.
About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE: 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% 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