Under the program, the company calculates the average monthly amount of each customer enrolled in the program based on their previous year’s usage.

Customers whose accounts are up-to-date are eligible to enroll in the program, and those enrolled pay the same amount for gas and/or electric service over a year’s period.

Bills on the 12th month will notify customers of the difference between the energy used and the amount they paid, and the customers can roll any credit or additional payment into next year’s budget plan, the company said.

The company will continue to note down the gas and electric meters each month and indicate on the bill the energy used and amount paid and will notify the customers if the BudgetWise Billing amount is changed to keep it in line with actual usage.

DTE Energy vice president of customer operations David Johnson said that today’s economy has made managing household bills much more challenging than ever before.

"But a new settlement process gives customers more control over the payment of their energy bills and serves as another tool to combat rising energy costs," Johnson said.