DTE to donate $6M to help residents pay heat bill


DTE Energy announced Thursday it is donating $6 million to help low-income residents in Michigan pay monthly heating bills this winter.

The donation is expected to drive enrollment of nearly 7,000 customers on DTE’s Low-Income Self Sufficiency Plan program, the company said in a news release. The plan offers fixed monthly payments based on income and energy use.

The donations will be administered by The Heat and Warmth Fund and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

More than 35,000 residents were enrolled in DTE Energy’s LSP in the 2015-16 program, DTE said. The goal for the 2016-17 program is to enroll more than 45,000, it said.

“We understand the challenges some of our customers face, especially during extreme weather, and we are committed to providing assistance to help lighten the load, especially during the holidays,” said Mark W. Stiers, president and chief operating officer of DTE Gas. “This $6 million donation will allow our agency partners to help many of our customers keep the heat and lights on during the upcoming holiday season and through the New Year.”

The $6 million donation follows a $5 million donation to THAW and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan earlier this year, DTE said. The Accounting Aid Society will also receive a donation to help them provide financial counseling and tax preparation services to middle- to low-income households, according to the release.

Both agencies will be conducting enrollment until February for eligible individuals seeking utility help for the new program year, which runs through October. Go to dteenergy.com/lsp for program information and information about the LSP enrollment process.