DTE Energy, Michigan’s largest energy company, was awarded outstanding achievement in customer engagement for deaf community outreach by the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP).

The Association of Energy Service Professionals award recognizes creative thinking, new approaches and problem-solving in the energy efficiency industry.

DTE is the first energy company in the nation to drive outreach and marketing to engage deaf customers. DTE, Walker Miller Energy Services and Alliance for Deaf Services provide the Home Energy Consultation (HEC) program to the deaf community by utilizing Video Remote Interpretation (VRI). The technology enables energy experts in the field to communicate with deaf customers.

“Having an institutional engagement like this is incredibly important to help break barriers,” said Todd Morrison, Alliance for Deaf Services. “Now I don’t have to accommodate the crew; the crew accommodates me.”

DTE has seen a great deal of success from the Home Energy Consultation VRI engagement servicing over 375 exclusively deaf households to date. DTE plans to expand the initiative to three other energy efficiency programs. The commercialized model is now viewed as an industry best practice and is being adopted by other energy companies.

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