DTE awards three Michigan small businesses $5,000 in energy efficiency upgrades

Annual makeover contest increased prize awards and received record-breaking number of entries

Detroit, April 12, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) today announced the winners of its annual Energy Efficiency Makeover contest. The contest, previously called Business Pride, was revamped in 2023 with a new name and larger cash awards of $5,000 each to benefit more small businesses as they start their energy efficiency journey and reduce energy use. Businesses that implement energy efficiency improvements often reduce energy use, create more energy efficient operations, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve comfort for employees and customers, and have lower energy bills.

The 2023 DTE Energy Efficiency Makeover contest winners are:

These Michigan small businesses were selected based on their demonstrated knowledge of and need for energy efficiency improvements.

All winners will receive a walk-through energy assessment with a DTE energy expert, including business-specific energy efficiency recommendations and help in coordinating the installation of upgrades with the prize money. Each business will also be featured in an upcoming edition of DTE’s EnergySmarts for Business magazine.

“As a small but vital non-profit, upgrading the building for optimal energy efficiency is a gift that will keep on giving for years to come,” said Patricia Obrzut, executive director, Penrickton Center for Blind Children. “Penrickton Center does not receive state or federal funds and there is no charge to the families we serve. Winning this generous award in the makeover contest will enable us to make some needed improvements and truly make a difference in our day-to-day operations.”

Penrickton Center for Blind Children is a unique, private non-profit agency, providing five-day residential, day care and consultation/evaluation services to children one through 12 years old who are visually impaired and multi-disabled.

“We started improving the energy efficiency of our office by replacing some old tube lights with LEDs,” said Joseph Dixon, president, Dixon & Associates. “The cost of upgrading systems has been a barrier to do more, so this award will really be helpful in making more upgrades that help to reduce our energy use.”  Dixon & Associates are financial planners and registered
representatives offering securities and advisory services through Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG), a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. 

As small business owners look for ways to improve their operations, energy efficiency upgrades are becoming more top of mind but are often difficult to implement due to lack of funds or expertise. This contest removes barriers of cost and access. DTE also seeks to connect with customers to raise awareness of programs, rebates and services available designed to reduce energy use and costs.  

“We have made some energy efficiency improvements and wanted to continue with a beer cooler upgrade, but we have limited cash on hand to do this,” said John Guerrero, manager, IC Countryside Market.  “We initially received a quote of $11,000 to upgrade the cooler but were able to lower the cost with the rebate DTE offers, so that and the $5,000 prize money will really help us to move forward in making that energy efficiency improvement.” Countryside Market offers groceries, deli selections and beverages.   

The contest, which closed in November, saw a record-breaking number of entries for a second year in a row.

“The response this year is exciting for the winners and our energy efficiency team. These businesses are the foundation of the communities we serve, and we are proud to support them,” said Carmen Welch, director, Energy Efficiency, DTE Energy. “Congratulations to all our Energy Efficiency Makeover contest winners.”

DTE offers over 20 energy efficiency programs for residential, small business and commercial and industrial customers and is ranked fifth in the nation for its programing. Since its inception in 2009, more than 7.7 million electric customers and 3.8 million gas customers have directly participated in DTE’s energy efficiency programs. 

To learn more about programs, rebates, ways to save and available resources for businesses, visit DTEenergy.com/getstarted.

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 company serving 2.3 million customers in Southeast Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers across Michigan. The DTE portfolio also includes energy businesses focused on custom energy solutions, renewable energy generation, and energy marketing and trading. DTE has continued to accelerate its carbon reduction goals to meet aggressive targets and is committed to serving with its energy through volunteerism, education and employment initiatives, philanthropy, emission reductions and economic progress. Information about DTE is available at dteenergy.comempoweringmichigan.comtwitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy. 


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