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 70 other groups, partner on DTE’s Energy Efficiency Assistance (EEA) program which is designed to help low-income residents lower their energy bills and save energy. The organizations recognized include:
Habitat for Humanity Huron Valley - Pull-Up Award, for outstanding performance and exceptional commitment to assisting partner organizations within the EEA Program
Matrix Human Services - Supporting the Cause Award, for outstanding performance and exceptional commitment to participating in customer events as well as customer assistance
Oakland Livingston Housing Services Agency - Flaw Rate Award, for submitting the least amount of flaws during project submission
United Community Housing Coalition - Rookie of the Year Award, recognizes the newest and most successful partner in the first one to five years of participation
County of Muskegon - MVP Award, for the greatest overall participation in the program
“We really appreciate the good work that all our partners do in the community to increase energy savings,” said Louis E. James, president and CEO of SEEL. “We applaud DTE Energy for making programs like this available to the community ensuring that all residents have equal access to opportunities 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), low-income households on average pay 7.2% of household income on utilities. This 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 apply.
“DTE congratulates all of the award winners,” said Tony Tomczak, vice president of corporate services and chief procurement officer, DTE Energy. “Despite the challenges created by the ongoing pandemic, the continued hard work of these winners to extend the reach of our energy efficiency assistance programs has been a lifeline to our customers. These efforts build trust, increase satisfaction and foster financial independence at a time when it’s greatly needed.”
One of the largest minority and 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 not have otherwise been helped.