Payment Assistance Programs
We offer several programs to assist our customers with paying their energy bills.
Please contact us at 800.477.4747 BEFORE your service is subject to shutoff. We will work with you to set up a payment plan or advise you of assistance agencies in your area.
|Programs for all customers||Programs for low income customers only|
Shutoff Protection Plan (SPP)*
Winter Protection Plan (WPP)*
THAW (The Heat And Warmth Fund)
* Seniors 62 years of age or older qualify for this program regardless of income.
How do I know if I qualify as a low income customer?
Income Eligibility Guidelines
|Number of Household Members||Federal Income Guidelines|
|HHC||SER, WPP. RIA, THAW,
|For each additional person, add||$4,457||$6,090|
* Some non-profit agencies might provide assistance to households with a higher income level. Please contact the agency for details.
PROGRAMS OFFERED TO ALL DTE ENERGY CUSTOMERS
Active Military Protection
If you or your spouse is called to full-time active military duty during a national or state emergency or war, you may apply for shutoff protection for up to 90 days. You may also reapply for extensions of this protection.
Affordable Rental Housing
Customers looking for affordable rental housing may use the free Michigan Housing Locator at MichiganhousingLocator.com.
Green Path Debt Solutions
Services include budget counseling, debt management, and credit report help. Call 800.550.1961.
If you or a member of your household has a proven medical emergency, you can apply for shut-off protection for up to 21 days. You must provide written proof from a doctor or a notice from public health official identifying the nature of the emergency.
Shutoff Protection Plan (SPP)*
The Shut-Off Protection Plan (SPP) is a year-round payment program designed to assist all residential customers, regardless of income, manage the outstanding balance on their account. This plan provides year-round protection from service shut offs if monthly payments are made regularly. You must pay a down payment to enroll – the amount of which will affect monthly payments. The higher the down payment, the lower the monthly payment will be. You have the flexibility in making your monthly payments on any date of your choice, as long as it’s paid by the next bill.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army provides energy assistance and other services to low-income customers. To find a Salvation Army Center near you, visit salvationarmyusa.org.
United Way 2-1-1 is a free confidential service that links people with local community-based organizations across the state that can help with utility assistance and other needs. Call 211.
Winter Protection Plan (WPP)*
The Winter Protection Plan (WPP) is a program designed to prevent service shut off and high utility payments during the heating season (11/01/14 – 03/31/15) for low-income customers, at or below 150% of the federal poverty level, and seniors (age 62 and up). During this period, customers must pay a budgeted amount. Seniors who have had service shut off for non-payment before applying for WPP will have their services restored without any payments. Although no specific payments are required during the heating season, seniors are encouraged to pay something to avoid large payments when the protection period ends.
PROGRAMS FOR LOW-INCOME CUSTOMERS
Energy Efficiency Assistance Program
Assistance with home weatherization may be available to those who meet the household income guidelines. Weatherization includes caulking, weather stripping, insulation and programmable thermostat. For more information on the low-income energy optimization program, please call 866.976.0512 or your local community action agency or United Way at 211.
Federal – Earned Income Credit (EIC)
A federal earned income credit is available based on income level and number of qualifying child dependents. To apply, you must file a federal income tax return with Schedule EIC. You can receive part of the credit in your paycheck by completing a W5 form with your employer for Advanced EIC or you can apply for the credit at tax time. Contact the IRS at 800.829.3676.
Home Heating Credit (HHC)
Low-income customers, at or below 110% of the federal poverty level, may be eligible for a home heating credit for the 2014 tax year to help pay winter heating bills. If you need help filing between 01/21/15 – 09/30/15, ask your local tax preparer or seek FREE assistance from the Accounting Aid Society at 866.673.0873 or 313.556.1920, or visit accountingaidsociety.org.
Home Improvement Loans
Reduce your energy bills with energy-efficient home improvements. Contact the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) at 517.373.8017 or visit mi.gov/mshda.
Discounts on monthly wireline or wireless telephone service are available for eligible low- income subscribers. Contact your local telephone company for more information or visit fcc.gov/lifeline.
Michigan Community Action Agency Association (MCAAA)
The Michigan Community Action Agency Association (MCAAA) provides energy assistance and home weatherization, helping to reduce energy use and lower utility bills, to qualified low-income customers. All services to qualified applicants are free. Contact your local Community Action Agency (CAA), or visit mcaaa.org.
Residential Income Assistance Credit (RIA)
Low-income customers, at or below 150% of the federal poverty level, may qualify for a $6 per month credit on their electric account and/or a $10.50 per month credit on their gas account.
State – Earned Income Credit (EIC)
A state earned income refundable credit is available for low-income working individuals and families who meet requirements for a federal earned income credit. To claim the Michigan EIC, you must complete and file a federal 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ. After your federal EIC has been approved, you must complete a Michigan form MI-1040. Contact the Department of Treasury 517.373.3200 or visit michigan.gov/treasury.
State Emergency Relief Program (SER)
The State Emergency Relief program (SER) provides immediate help to low-income households who meet federal income guidelines and have a past due utility bill or a shut-off notice. Program services are available from 11/01/14 – 05/31/15. Contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) at 855.275.6424 or visit michigan.gov/dhs.
The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW)
The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) provides energy assistance and other services to low-income customers who have overdue payments or are in a shut off status or have been disconnected. Call 800.866.THAW(8429).
Energy Efficiency Tips
- Have your furnace inspected annually. A well-maintained heating system runs more efficiently.
- Lower your thermostat while no one is home, or while everyone is in bed. Every degree you dial down below 72 degrees could save up to 3 percent on your heating costs.
- Install a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature according to your schedule.
- Plug air leaks with caulking, weather stripping or add insulation.
- Replace furnace filters regularly.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees.
- Wash and rinse your clothes in cold water.
- Use My Energy Analyzer, an online energy efficiency tool to get customized energy savings tips and analyze your energy bills.
- Visit our Save Energy section for more energy efficiency tips.