Aside from delivering reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean power for Michigan homes, businesses, and industries, one of the most important things our local energy providers do is support local communities across the state through a number of civic engagement and community development projects.
DTE Energy, for example, was recently named “one of the most community-minded companies in the United States” by Points of Light, the world’s largest volunteer service organization. This is the second year in a row that the local energy provider has received this distinction—and it was the only Michigan-based company to make “The Civic 50” list this year.
The Civic 50 is a curated list of companies that actively lead on corporate social responsibility. Points of Light uses this ranking as a way to identify and honor the practices of “the most community-minded companies in the nation.” It is the only ranking system in the country that exclusively measures corporate community involvement. It’s no surprise that DTE Energy made the list again this year given the local energy provider logged 88,000 employee volunteer hours serving 828 non-profit groups last year alone.
One recent example of DTE Energy’s involvement in the community took place earlier this month when dozens of employee volunteers took part in the 93rd Annual National Cherry Festival in Traverse City. The DTE Foundation—the energy provider’s community-involvement and charitable arm—is one of the key sponsors of this time-honored tradition, “supporting the festival’s positive impact in the community and sponsoring DTE Energy Day at the festival where visitors could learn how to save money with energy efficiency.”
Consumers Energy is no stranger to community involvement, either. A recent partnership between the local energy provider and the city of Jackson resulted in the distribution of free lightbulbs to neighborhoods across the city as part of the “Light Up the City” program. As part of this effort, Consumers Energy volunteers went door-to-door to distribute free energy-efficient lightbulbs along with safety information and energy-efficiency tips.
The program is part of an ongoing effort to “make neighborhoods safer by encouraging them to turn on front porch lights in an effort to reduce crime.” The project began in Saginaw in 2013 and has expanded to other cities, including Flint, Muskegon, and Jackson. It is all part of Consumers Energy’s commitment to the communities and households it serves.
Consumers Energy is also a sponsor of the “One Week, One Street” project, a week-long community service program that engages the public in revitalizing one small area at a time. This past June, volunteers came together with other from the Great Lakes Bay region to clean up and beautify the Loomis Elementary neighborhood in Saginaw.
Over the past six years, the One Week, One Street project has accumulated “more than 27,860 volunteer hours [that have] resulted in the painting and landscaping at 166 houses, two community gardens, nine vacant lots cleared, one indoor and two outdoor murals painted, 51 porches/steps repaired, the building of one community tool shed, a youth center with computers, a park pavilion and two play structures.” With the goal of reducing blight and improving conditions in the community, the project is going strong thanks to the sponsorship—and volunteer support—of Consumers Energy.