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Community Organizations Recognized for Helping Low-Income Residents Lower Their Energy Bills and Save Energy

2nd Annual DTE/SEEL Community Appreciation Awards Held Virtually on November 18, 2021

Organizations Participate in DTE’s Energy Efficiency Assistance (EEA) Program

5 Organizations Receive Awards

Five organizations were recognized for their outstanding commitment to advance energy efficiency in communities throughout Michigan during the DTE/SEEL Community Appreciation Awards held virtually this month. These organizations, along with other groups partner on DTEs Energy Efficiency Assistance (EEA) program which is designed to help low-income residents lower their energy bills and save energy. The organizations that were recognized are:

ClearCorps Detroit - MVP Award, for demonstrating the leadership skills to lead the other partner organizations.

United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC) - For the Cause Award, for bringing new ideas to help improve the success of the EEA program.

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ) – Pull Up Award, taking on referrals when the EEA program needed them most

Global Detroit – All Star Award, for being diverse and having the capacity to complete the install of more measures that any other organization

Matrix Human Services – Flawless Award, for having a smooth QAQC outcome.

“We really appreciate the good work all of our partners do in the community to increase energy savings,” said Louis E. James, Founder, Chairman and CEO of SEEL. “We applaud DTE Energy for making programs like this available to the community ensuring that all residents have an equal access to the opportunity to save money on their energy bills and make their homes more energy efficient.”

The EEA program is extremely important for low-income residents who are disproportionately impacted by high energy bills. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA), on average low-income households pay 7.2% of household income on utilities, which is more than twice as much as the median household and three times as much as higher income households. Programs like EEA help to alleviate the problem.

DTE’s EEA program is designed for residents who have limited income but want to make their homes more energy efficient. Eligible residents may receive multiple energy efficient products to help reduce their monthly energy bill and make their homes more comfortable all at no cost to the resident. Eligibility includes household income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines and active enrollment in the Low-Income Self Sufficiency Plan, or other state low-income public assistance programs like SNAP and WIC. Other guidelines do apply.

“Congratulations to all of the award winners. Your hard work and dedication are especially appreciated this year,” said Dr. E’Lois Thomas, President, SEEL, LLC. “Despite the challenges created by this ongoing pandemic, your continued hard work to extend the reach of our energy efficiency assistance programs is greatly valued. Your efforts build trust, increase satisfaction and foster financial independence in customers at a time when its very needed. DTE and SEEL are deeply grateful for your hard work and your contribution to making life better in our communities.”

One of the largest minority-owned, disabled-veteran owned energy program management companies in the nation, SEEL (Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics) works with DTE Energy to implement the program in communities throughout Michigan. SEEL works with community partners to extend the reach of the program making it available to even more residents who may have otherwise not been helped.

Help us congratulate our Founder, Chairman and CEO, as well as our entire team on winning The National CLASS IV Supplier Of The Year Award at the 2021 NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Expo!

The 2021 NMSDC Conference + Business Opportunity Exchange was virtual event that encourages minority business owners to get ready to position and elevate their company and put their G.R.I.T. in motion.

For more information and to see the other nominees and winners go to the NMSDC website.

Dr. Thomas joins a handful of African American women who head major energy program implementation companies

Today, Louis E. James, founder of SEEL, LLC officially announced the appointment of E’Lois Thomas, Ph.D., as the new President of the company. Formerly the Chief Administrative Officer, Thomas will now continue the vision and growth trajectory of the organization. In her new role, Dr. Thomas joins a handful of African American women who will lead a major energy program implementation company.

“E’Lois has worked closely with me since the inception of SEEL,” said Mr. James, now Chairman & CEO of the company. “She deserves and more importantly she has earned the position of president. I credit her for initiating and implementing many ideas, programs and initiatives that were instrumental in growing SEEL into a leading energy program implementation company. I have every confidence in her commitment and abilities and am excited to see the company continue to flourish under her leadership.”

Thomas has worked with James for the past 20 years. She was a part of SEEL when he founded the company in 2009. In 2011, she officially joined SEEL as a Program Manager to learn the business and ensure that we had diverse representation in all aspects of leadership. Working in lock step with Mr. James over the years, she quickly ascended to Senior Manager and Director of Administration to Chief Administrative Officer and now she heads the company.

“I am grateful for the confidence Mr. James has placed in me and I am ready for the challenge,” said Dr. Thomas. “These are exciting times in the industry, and I look forward to steering SEEL to the next level of service. As an African American woman in a leadership role in the energy industry I will work hard for energy equity, and I will continue to advocate for diversity and inclusion. I have enjoyed serving as chief administrative officer and look forward to executing my duties as president. I am excited to start this next phase of my career and service to the community and I thank Mr. James for the opportunity.”

Dr. Thomas has not only served her company well, but she has also been an active participant in the industry. She is the vice chair of the board of directors of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), board member of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) Michigan Chapter, board member and treasurer of Advancing Women in Energy (AWE) and a mentor with the Council of Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership (CWEEL). She is also a board member of RESULTS Mentoring and an advisory board member with the MBA Program of Siena Heights University.

An Adjunct Faculty Member with Siena Heights University and Northwood University, Dr. Thomas was honored by Crain’s Detroit as a Notable Women in Finance. She is a Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence Honoree and was named Who’s Who in Black Detroit by Real Times Media.

Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Dr. Thomas received a Bachelor of Science with a focus in Accounting from the University of Detroit Mercy, a Master of Business Administration from Walsh College and a Doctor of Philosophy from Northcentral University. She recently completed the Executive Education Women's Leadership Program at Yale School of Management, holds a Leading Teams Certification from the University of Michigan, a Teaching Certification from the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) and is a Six Sigma Black Belt Professional.

Dr. Thomas is married to Charles Thomas, Jr. and has two sons, Charles III and Isaiah.


SEEL, LLC is a nationally certified minority business enterprise (MBE), service-disabled, veteran-owned energy program implementer. SEEL offers a suite of energy management services, including energy audits, recycling and incentive programs, in-house weatherization, contact center management and workforce development. SEEL is also a national BPI Test Center. SEEL has received more than 20 awards over the years for outstanding performance. It was named the 2020 Supplier of the Year by the NMSDC and MMSDC. Most recently SEEL received the 2021 Regional Supplier of the Year from NMSDC and the 2021 Business Diversity Award from EEI. For more information about SEEL, visit www.seelllc.com, or call 313-841-5000.