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DTE Energy donates $10 million to THAW and United Way for Southeastern Michigan to help vulnerable families

DETROIT, Dec. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- DTE Energy announced it will donate a total of $10 million to The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) and United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) to help vulnerable Michigan families stay warm this winter.

DTE Energy

DTE is providing this funding in direct response to the recent cold snap, as well as in anticipation of another harsh winter this year. The donations, funded with shareholder dollars, will be split in half with THAW receiving $5 million and UWSEM getting $5 million.

"Last year was one of the coldest winters on record and we saw how critical the need was for families to try and keep warm," said Mark Stiers, president and chief operating officer of DTE Gas Company. "This is why we are partnering with United Way and THAW to make sure that these funds get to the families that need them the most this winter."

The announcement is another great example of how public-private relationships can have a real impact on the lives of Michigan residents.

"United Way salutes DTE Energy for this generous donation because we recognize that these dollars will make a real difference in the lives of area families who would otherwise struggle to stay warm this winter," said United Way President and CEO Michael J. Brennan.

"This generous donation from DTE Energy is coming at a time of great need for many families," said Saunteel Jenkins, CEO of THAW. "More than 70% of the families we serve have a child or a senior in the home who is especially vulnerable to the cold. The funds provided by DTE will help us stabilize thousands of Michigan households as another unpredictable Michigan winter approaches."

DTE has worked hard to keep costs down for customers. The result of that work was DTE Gas being ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction With Residential Natural Gas Service in the Midwest U.S. Among Large Utilities," according to the J.D. Power 2014 Gas Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM released in September.

"We want to make sure that our customers, particularly the most vulnerable, are able to get the assistance they need as the weather turns this winter," Stiers said. "This contribution to THAW and UWSEM is a great way to make this happen."

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 and energy 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.

About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through its annual Campaign and is a leader in convening partners to impact local residents each year by increasing economic self-sufficiency, protecting children and youth at risk, strengthening families, empowering neighborhoods and communities, and promoting health and wellness. Additional information is available at www.liveunitedsem.org.

Disclaimer: DTE Energy received the highest numerical score among large utilities in the Midwestern U.S. in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Gas Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM .  Study based on 69,806 online interviews ranking 17 providers in the Midwestern U.S. (CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, NB, OH, WI). Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed September 2013-July 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

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SOURCE DTE Energy

For further information: Media - Laura L. Rodwan, UWSEM, 313-477-2750, Laura.Rodwan@liveunitedsem.org, or Monica Cheick, THAW, 586-612-8220, MCheick@publiccitypr.net, or Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, DTE Energy, 313-235-5555