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DTE Energy and THAW partner to help families stay warm this winter

Fundraising events aim to raise and distribute $1 million to Michigan families

DETROIT, Oct. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- DTE Energy and The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) have partnered to present the Week of Warmth celebration in an effort to support the raising and distribution of $1 million in energy assistance to Michigan families in need.

The fifth annual Week of Warmth is a series of events that combines fundraising, energy education, uplifting community gatherings and convenient access to assistance resources.

"Throughout the year, DTE Energy and The Heat and Warmth Fund collaborate to assist low-income families," said Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy chairman and CEO. "The Week of Warmth is our opportunity to bring corporate, individual and community partners together to provide solutions for families who have fallen on hard times. Last winter's record-breaking temperatures only reinforce the need for this type of partnership."

Anderson will chair the Week of Warmth. He will be joined by honorary chairs: Gov. Rick Snyder, incoming THAW CEO Saunteel Jenkins, state Rep. Thomas Stallworth III, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Masco Corporation Chairman Emeritus Richard A. Manoogian, and PVS Chemicals President & CEO James B. Nicholson.

"For nearly 30 years, THAW and DTE have partnered to keep residents across the state safe and warm," said Saunteel Jenkins, incoming CEO of THAW. "The support THAW receives from individuals and private funders allows the organization to extend its reach and keep more families out of crisis."

Last year, THAW distributed energy assistance to more than 26,000 households in Michigan.

The 2014 Week of Warmth includes:

  • Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Day
    • Saturday, Nov. 8, 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • New St. Paul Tabernacle C.O.G.I.C. – 15340 Southfield Drive, Detroit
      • Location for Kickoff/Media Event at 8:30 a.m.
  • Warmth with Wings
    • Sunday, Nov. 9, 6 p.m.
    • Joe Louis Arena – Red Wings game
  • Customer Assistance Days
    • Nov. 10, 11, 13 and 14
    • Detroit, Pontiac and Muskegon
  • THAW's Night of Warm Hearts fundraiser
  • Hallelujah for Heat Gospel Concert & Awards Ceremony
    • Saturday, Nov. 15, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
    • New St. Paul Tabernacle C.O.G.I.C. – 15340 Southfield Drive, Detroit

The Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Day (N.E.E.D.) kicks off the Week of Warmth activities on Nov. 8. The N.E.E.D. will begin with a media event at New St. Paul Tabernacle Church of God in Christ. More than 100 volunteers will gather at the church at 7:30 a.m., before dispersing to approximately 200 homes in the surrounding neighborhood. The media will have the chance to interview DTE and THAW executives, as well as volunteers.

The N.E.E.D. is an opportunity to educate DTE customers about ways to save money and become more energy-efficient. On this day, residents will receive free Home Energy Consultations, including the installation of energy- and water-saving products. Some customers will qualify to receive an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator and possibly a furnace test and tune-up. Additional services will be provided by DTE's partner agencies, ranging from replacement of home insulation to financial literacy seminars. The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit will install new LED street lights within the N.E.E.D. boundaries. The media is invited to cover these activities also.

In addition to the fundraisers that follow the N.E.E.D. event, donations can be made by visiting www.thawfund.org or www.weekofwarmth.org.

"DTE and THAW are committed to improving the communities where we live and serve," said Faye Alexander Nelson, DTE Energy vice president, Public Affairs and president, DTE Energy Foundation. "By the end of the Week of Warmth, we will have distributed $1 million to economically-challenged families in Michigan. However, the help doesn't end there. We have numerous payment assistance programs available year-round."

This is the fifth year DTE Energy has served as presenting sponsor of the Week of Warmth. NextEra Energy Resources is co-sponsor once again. Strategic Staffing Solutions is the corporate donor. ITC Holdings Corp. and Utility Lines Construction Services are the corporate contributors. More than 70 other area businesses and churches have come together to support the Week of Warmth.

About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio also includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.

About The Heat and Warmth Fund
The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) is a Detroit-based leading provider of utility assistance for Michigan residents in need. THAW is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) agency that provides low-income individuals and families throughout Michigan with emergency energy financial assistance. Since 1985, THAW has distributed more than $145 million in assistance to over 200,000 Michigan households.

DTE Energy

 

THAW The Heat and Warmth Fund

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SOURCE DTE Energy; THAW

For further information: Erica Donerson, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555; Monica Cheick, THAW, 586.612.8220