LANSING, Mich. — Representatives from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, The Heat and Warmth Fund and DTE Energy held a news conference to discuss steps Michiganders can take to lower their bills and find payment assistance if needed this upcoming winter.
Topics included what residents should do before cold weather sets in, how to tell if they're at risk of much higher heating bills and how to apply for financial aid and get on affordable payment plans.
Watch the news conference here:
Customers should reach out for help as soon as they think they may have a problem paying their bills.
DTE offers multiple assistance programs for those in need of support and can also connect customers to non-profit partners that have additional programs available.
Officials also say to take steps to reduce energy use, such as lowering thermostats a few degrees, caulking windows and changing the furnace filter frequently.
“We’re here to help,” said Dan Brudzynski, vice president of DTE Gas Sales & Supply. “DTE wants to ensure our customers stay warm this winter, from saving customers an average of $20 a month on their heating bills by locking in prices early to connecting them with programs that can be a safety net in tough times.”
THAW CEO Saunteel Jenkins shared during the briefing how the organization supports struggling families locally and plans to amplify its resources this season.
“THAW works to stabilize Michigan families and keep them healthy, safe and warm,” Jenkins said. “We have funds available to assist those struggling to pay their electric and heating bills, and we are so glad DTE is helping Michigan families get ahead of the onset of winter with this much-needed information.”