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Detroit — DTE Energy said Monday it is temporarily suspending all non-critical infrastructure and maintenance work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Today's decision to voluntarily suspend non-critical infrastructure and maintenance work will go a long way to support the health and safety of employees," Jerry Norcia, DTE president and CEO, said in a statement. "DTE will continue to reliably deliver the electric and gas service our customers need as this pandemic runs its course.

"We will protect our employees who need to leave their homes to service our customers by ensuring they follow safe practices and utilize protective equipment," he said. "DTE is doing its part to mitigate further spread of COVID-19, which will help to protect our customers, communities and highly dedicated health care professionals.”  

Most customers will not notice the suspension of work, the company said. Non-critical work, including main renewal, infrastructure construction and home energy consultations, will be safely idled and suspended. The company will monitor the developing situation while it continues to staff core operations. Teams will be ready to respond to any emergency event that might occur.  

DTE employees will continue to restore power after outages, repair gas leaks and respond to downed powerlines to ensure public safety and mitigate power interruptions.

Overhead line work and tree trimming operations are other critical services, and vendors in these fields will determine how they may safely remain on the job to help ensure vital work continues. 

Customer service specialists will work remotely from home as DTE will continue to respond to customer calls. Also, the company’s 5,000 employees who have been working from home for two weeks will continue to staff their functions remotely. 

“Addressing the economic and societal impact of COVID-19 will be important in the coming weeks and months," Norcia said. "So as DTE ensures reliable delivery of energy, the DTE Energy Foundation has increased support for non-profit organizations in communities across the state to help those in need, especially those individuals who need food and shelter.”

Based in Detroit, DTE Energy provides electricity to 2.2 million customers in southeast Michigan and provides natural gas to 1.3 million customers in Michigan.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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