What could be better than an energy efficiency program that is free?

A program that is free and gives special attention to Deaf and hard of hearing customers.

DTE Energy offers the Home Energy Consultation program for free to all its customers.  It’s easy to participate – a customer schedules an appointment and a DTE energy expert comes to the home, walks through with the homeowner and identifies ways to save. They also install complimentary energy-saving products such as programmable thermostats, LED light bulbs, kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators, pipe insulation, and showerheads to get the savings started.

But what if you are Deaf or hard of hearing?

DTE recently announced a new service for our Deaf and hard of hearing customers, that utilizes a tablet with Video Remote Interpretation software & Talk to Text, enabling the DTE energy expert to better communicate with the customer during the Home Energy Consultation.  The DTE energy expert is equipped with a tablet that provides a connection to a sign language interpreter. This interpreter makes it possible for the customer to fully participate and enjoy all the benefits of the consultation.

DTE is partnering with the Alliance for Deaf Services to expand the use of this technology to help our Deaf customers – this is a first in the energy industry. The opportunity to serve this customer base is greatly needed.  There are more than 100,000 Michiganders who are Deaf people who communicate exclusively with American Sign Language.

With the expansion of the program to include Talk to Text, DTE can improve service to over one million Michiganders who have become functionally Deaf over the course of their lives. The Talk to Text service connects the consultation to a person who captures the interaction between the energy expert and the deaf customer, converting it to text.

“It’s a life changing experience to have someone prepared to interact with deaf customers like myself,” said Todd Morrison, President of the Michigan Deaf Association. “With DTE experts trained and prepared to deal with customers who are deaf, the communication is greatly improved.  From the greeting at the start, until the end of the consultation, the ease of interacting with the DTE energy expert is simple and efficient.”

This offering was developed so Deaf customers benefit from the same level of customer service and positive experience that all customers do while participating in the Home Energy Consultation program.

“We’re continuing to look at more ways we can expand the use of this new technology and service through other energy efficiency programs we offer,” said David Delind, DTE program manager. “We want to help all our customers manage their energy use and lower their monthly bills.”

Customers interested in a free DTE Home Energy Consultation can schedule it online at dteenergy.com/HEC  or call 866.796.0512 and indicate they would like the VRI or Talk to Text service.

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