Did you know that more than 1.5 million people across Michigan, roughly 40 percent of households, are struggling to afford basic needs… and this includes energy? As the cold weather sets in, DTE Energy has partnered with The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) for the seventh annual Week of Warmth, which kicked off Friday, November 4 with events in Grand Rapids and Detroit. Volunteers from across the company helped increase awareness and raise funds for the state’s most vulnerable citizens with a goal of assisting them through what is expected to be another cold winter season.
“This fall we raised more than $460,000 during the Week of Warmth that will go towards ensuring many of our low-income customers receive assistance in keeping the heat on during the cold winter months in Michigan.” said Dave Meador, vice chairman and chief administrative officer, DTE Energy as well as the Honorary Chair for this year’s Week of Warmth. “We are committed to working with our customers to ensure they have the assistance they need throughout the year, and THAW is a key partner in making this happen.”
Our seventh annual Week of Warmth was comprised of a series of events that included:
- Warmth with Wings – DTE, THAW and the Detroit Red Wings teamed up with fans in support of THAW and Week of Warmth. The first 4,000 fans in the door received a Wings winter hat, energy efficiency tips and donation information.
- Customer Assistance Days (CAD) – DTE, THAW, Consumers Energy and other partner agencies such as the United Way, The Salvation Army and TrueNorth hosted four events to assist low-income customers, in both west and southeast Michigan, with affordable payment plans and energy saving tips.
- Night of Warm Hearts – A fundraiser including dinner, entertainment, live and silent auctions at Detroit’s premier Atheneum Suite Hotel. Ticket sales alone raised more than $11,600 in assistance funds.
- Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Days (NEED) – Two home energy consultation events, one on each side of the state, provided energy efficiency tools, materials and education to more than 200 households. The consultations included energy efficient products such as water-saving showerheads and faucet aerators, hot water pipe wrap and even programmable thermostats along with energy saving tips to help customers lower their utility bills.
- Hallelujah for Heat – Two celebratory gospel concerts, one held in Grand Rapids and the other in Detroit, were held to recognized community leaders and energy assistance advocates on their commitment to helping those in need stay healthy, safe and warm throughout the upcoming high heating season.
- Gift of Warmth phone bank – DTE Energy Care Force volunteers and THAW partnered with WDIV Local 4 for a telethon that to date has raised more than $22,000 in pledges, which does not include the DTE match, that will help families stay healthy, safe and warm during the cold winter months. A portion of the funds donated were matched by DTE.
The Week of Warmth is more than just providing monetary assistance for our low-income customers in need,” said David L. Johnson, senior vice president, Customer Service and Economic Development, DTE Energy. “When our employees volunteer to participate in these initiatives, it helps us exceed our customers’ expectations and reinforces our commitment to our customers and the community.”