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200 Protest Outside DTE Headquarters

DETROIT (WWJ) - About 200 protesters are marching in front of DTE Energy headquarters on Thursday calling for lower utility bills.

Ernie Moore was in the crowd.

"We are for lower bills and we are for lower taxes so we can be able to survive as a generation," said Moore. "And as young people we are out here trying to make a change for the right causes, not the wrong ones."

The group is unhappy about the millions of dollars DTE Energy receives in subsidies from Michigan taxpayers.

Pastor Jerry Massey accused DTE of running up prices to please the stockholders.

"So, they're really double-dipping, because No. 1, you know, people who buy shares and their company, they got that money to deal with, and to make sure that they get the interest that the people are demanding, they're going up on our lights and heat," he said.

Protesters are also demanding a moratorium on utility shutoffs during the winter.

Len Singer from DTE said while there is no "guarantee" against utility shut offs for non-payment of bills, the utility has several programs to help customers.

"But it's really important that customers contact us as soon as they are having a problem, before bills get too large or before the situation gets out of hand," Singer added.

Singer said eligible senior citizens can apply for special shut off protection.

For information about DTE Energy payment assistance programs, visit this link.

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