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DTE Energy has announced, effective immediately, it is safely winding down and voluntarily suspending for the time being all non-critical infrastructure and maintenance work as an additional measure to prioritize the health of its employees, customers and communities during the coronavirus outbreak.
This move to keep employees home in instances other than emergency response to customers. That will help ensure they do not add to the growing spread of the virus and further stress the health care system, equipment and services across the state.
The suspension of work will go unnoticed by most customers. Non-critical work including main renewal, infrastructure construction and home energy consultations will be safely idled and suspended. The company will monitor the developing situation, adjusting daily and weekly, while it continues to staff core operations. Teams will be ready to respond to any emergency event that might occur.
DTE employees will continue to provide power outage restoration, gas leak and downed power line response to ensure public safety and mitigate power interruptions. Overhead line work and tree trimming operations are other critical services, and vendors in these fields will determine how they may safely remain on the job to help ensure vital work continues.
Customer service specialists will work remotely from home as DTE will continue to respond to customer calls. Also, the company’s 5,000 employees who have been working from home for two weeks will continue to staff their functions remotely.
DTE is also on high alert to help those customers whose lives are being disrupted. As a result, the company is suspending shutoffs for non-payment for customers who are low income eligible through April 5, 2020. This timing could be extended depending on the impact that the virus has on Michigan communities. Those customers enrolled in the Senior Winter Protection Program have had their end dates automatically extended through May 3, 2020 without additional actions required on their part.
Customers who are impacted by COVID-19 — those with a sudden loss of income or medical condition — as well as our vulnerable senior citizens, are encouraged to contact DTE at 1-800-477-4747 to determine eligibility for our payment assistance programs.