DTE Energy

Having heat matters in Michigan, and DTE Energy has been a trusted provider of natural gas and electricity for more than a century.

Today, DTE Energy’s natural gas utility is one of the nation’s largest, delivering natural gas to 1.3 million Michigan families and businesses in over 500 communities. DTE’s electricity company provides power to 2.3 million customers in the state.

In Western Michigan, Jonathan Wilson serves as DTE Energy’s Regional Manager for Corporate and Government Affairs. He oversees the second-largest region in the state and works to advance DTE Energy’s mission of becoming an agent for growth in the region.

Wilson joined DTE six years ago and says his job doesn’t get boring – every day is different. Working in West Michigan allows him to facilitate interactions on behalf of DTE to advance and strengthen local and regional stakeholder relationships.

“I advise and lead DTE’s community presence within West Michigan and serve as liaison and problem solver to elected and appointed officials at the county, city, and township level,” Wilson says.

Powering Michigan Forward

A Detroit-based diversified energy company, DTE Energy continues to evolve and grow its presence in Michigan and beyond. DTE develops and manages energy-related businesses and services nationwide.

Most people know DTE as a natural gas supplier. The company’s origins go back to 1849 when Lemuel Davis created the City of Detroit Gas Co.

Fun fact: There is more gas storage capacity in Michigan than in any other state.

Because of Michigan’s unique geology, DTE Energy is able to store up to 130 billion cubic feet of gas in naturally occurring underground rock formations. This storage capability assures customers of a reliable gas supply at a competitive price.

DTE Energy’s evolution

Despite several name changes over the decades, DTE has remained committed to providing safe, reliable, cleaner, and cost-effective energy.

The DTE portfolio includes industrial energy services, renewable natural gas, and energy marketing and trading. The company employs more than 10,000 people in utility and non-utility subsidiaries, working to power homes and businesses, improve infrastructure, and expand the company’s footprint across 22 states.

Besides natural gas, DTE uses coal, nuclear fuel, natural gas, hydroelectric pumped storage, and renewable sources to generate its electrical output. Founded in 1903, DTE Electric is the largest electric utility in Michigan and one of the largest in the nation.

In addition to relying on Michigan’s abundant supply of natural gas, DTE Energy pipelines link customers to energy sources in Texas, Oklahoma, the Rockies, Appalachia, the Gulf of Mexico, and western Canada.

Gas Renewal Program

Operationally, one of DTE’s most visible projects is a multi-year, statewide Gas Renewal Program. This $3.5 billion investment will replace cast iron and steel pipe with safer, more reliable, and environmentally friendly materials.

The DTE Gas Renewal Program is a key initiative by DTE Energy to modernize its natural gas infrastructure. This involves renewing gas mains and service lines and upgrading natural gas meters with updated materials.

The program aims to improve safety and reliability and reduce methane emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 100,000 cars off the road. A significant amount of this work is happening in Muskegon County.

DTE in West Michigan

Wilson acts as DTE’s lead West Michigan representative for economic development, foundation giving, media relations, and volunteerism. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for GMED, Wilson engages with attraction and retention projects to ensure companies in the region are served adequately with natural gas.

As a leading corporate citizen, DTE gives back to the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways.

The DTE Energy Foundation supports initiatives focused on arts and culture, community transformation, economic progress, education and employment, environment, and human needs. The Foundation awards grants to nonprofits making a difference in their communities.

“Some significant programs we support in the Muskegon area include the United Way of the Lakeshore Summer Youth Employment Program, Ride United, Muskegon Museum of Art, and the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly,” Wilson says.

Building Relationships in Muskegon

Wilson moved to Muskegon in 2014 and knows the community well. He served as the County of Muskegon’s Economic Development Manager and led a variety of economic development efforts across the county.

“Once moving here and seeing the growth and development happening within the community, I wanted to stay and be a part of efforts to grow the community,” Wilson says. “We have a ton of great assets in Muskegon, including access to wonderful natural resources, a vibrant arts and culture community, and a cool downtown.”

Wilson says the people in Muskegon are the region’s biggest asset. The relationships he’s built continue to drive his work at DTE and influence his decision to stay.

“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to form authentic and lasting relationships with a lot of people here,” Wilson says.

Looking ahead, Wilson plans to stay active in the community, whether it’s advocacy or serving on local boards and committees. He looks forward to growing in his career at DTE and connecting with people to build partnerships and expand DTE’s impact in West Michigan.

“As we continue to make investments so we can provide safe, reliable, and affordable energy to the state, there will be many opportunities for engagement with the Muskegon community, and I look forward to facilitating these interactions,” Wilson says.