Work For Me, DTE!

Big utility DTE Energy’s 15-year plan for Michigan is unjust. Tell energy regulators to make DTE work for us!

TAKE ACTION

Michigan communities demand a just energy plan that works for US!

Work For Me! DTE is the campaign for health, affordability, and democracy in Detroit and throughout southeast Michigan led by frontline communities. We’ve mobilized thousands to speak out for the just energy plan Michigan families deserve. Here are some of their stories.

Meet Michigan DTE customers and neighbors who are calling on the Michigan Public Service Commission to put community welfare over corporate profits, and tell DTE to build an equitable energy plan that works for all.

“Why does DTE need to raise its rates every year when each of us is doing everything we can to lower our usage? And when we lower our usage, instead of us, the customer, receiving the benefit of that lower usage by a lower bill, DTE asks to increase its rate … Asking for a hike period is just pure greed.”

Ms. Margaret Lewis

Soulardarity Member, Highland Parker

“My name is Rachel Thompson. I am a Detroit Resident, I live in Southwest. I am a mother, an organizer and a therapist. And I just want to share my story of why DTE rates are completely unaffordable for me and my family. I’ve been shut off three times in the last three years. Two of those times were in winter and two of those times were when I was during an unpaid maternity leave.

“In our neighborhood at least, we already help each other out when we get shut off. Oftentimes, my neighbor and I, when one of us has gotten shut off, have run an extension cord from one place to another to keep the fridge on. So if there is an opportunity to share power through community solar we are definitely already doing that. So we definitely would love to learn how to do that with solar.”

Rachel Thompson

Southwest Detroit Community Member - with partner Lawrence Wright & their son Atreyu

“My name is Rachel Thompson. I am a Detroit Resident, I live in Southwest. I am a mother, an organizer and a therapist. And I just want to share my story of why DTE rates are completely unaffordable for me and my family. I’ve been shut off three times in the last three years. Two of those times were in winter and two of those times were when I was during an unpaid maternity leave.

“In our neighborhood at least, we already help each other out when we get shut off. Oftentimes, my neighbor and I, when one of us has gotten shut off, have run an extension cord from one place to another to keep the fridge on. So if there is an opportunity to share power through community solar we are definitely already doing that. So we definitely would love to learn how to do that with solar.”

Rachel Thompson

Southwest Detroit Community Member - with partner Lawrence Wright & their son Atreyu

“Having to pay DTE and having all your energy go out your door with these older homes is a major issue over here, especially for people who just can’t afford it. They are living on a fixed income.”

Kelvin Heath

Kelvin & his wife Norma have a solar array on Euclid St.

Community-led Solutions

Frontline communities are giving power to the people with local solar and sustainable solutions that build community health and wealth.

Avalon Eco-Village

“The Avalon Village is a sustainable eco-village being built in Highland Park, MI (inside the city of Detroit). We are transforming one of the city’s most blighted blocks into a safe, functional, and beautiful space for the entire community.”

– Shamayim Harris aka “Mama Shu,” Founder & CEO of Avalon Village in Highland Park, MI opening in 2020, which features a solar roof, geothermal heating & cooling, and more green infrastructure

Solar Schools

Youth leaders Seth Kirk, Adam Todd, and Bethany Klueg are bringing energy savings to Gesu Catholic School.

The Gesu Solar Club received 3rd place in the My Solar School competition, which helped contribute to the funding for the now complete solar array on the school gym’s roof.  The array is 68 panels and could generate up to 24.8 kilowatts of clean, renewable energy.

Power House DIY Solar Project

Power House Productions led a DIY solar project where they designed two off-grid houses. The project sought to educate neighbors and work to build long term sustainability for the community to have access to their own power.  

The Power House is an off-grid 1920s bungalow balancing both high- and low-tech strategies. Power House explores practical and irrational ideas about art, aesthetics, public space, green energy, sustainability, the failure of economic markets, inherent value of a place, and the humanity of neighbors.

Demand health, affordability and community power.

Work For Me, DTE! is a campaign by:

East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Engage Michigan, Ecology Center, Meta Peace Team / MCHR, Good Jobs Now, MI Citizens For Conservation, Coalition To Oppose US Ecology, WACO, D2SOLAR, Sierra Club, MI Interfaith Power & Light, Good Jobs Now, Soulardarity, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Citizen’s Resistance Against Fermi Two, We Want Green Too!, We The People Detroit, Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit

About the Filmmaker & Photographer

Giizhigad [Christy Bieber] is an Anishinaabe Artist & cultural worker rooted in Waawiiyaatanong [Detroit].  As an artist she currently builds creatively independently and collaboratively in the facets of music, dance, & mixed media design as a part of dynamic storytelling installations alchemizing the worlds we want to live in.  She is also dedicated to uplifting stories from her community around current struggles in social justice through supporting grassroots and frontline communities with multimedia services.

DTE Receives Failing Grades

A broad coalition of clean energy, environmental justice, and consumer advocacy organizations scored DTE Energy’s proposed plan and determined that it doesn’t make the grade.

Vote Solar provided support on this film & visual storytelling project and is dedicated to repowering the U.S. with equitable and resilient 100% clean energy, with a just transition and affordable solar for all.